Updates to this research will be published weekly to track the impact and response to COVID-19. Week 5 results are now available.
The latest wave of the COVID-19 SME Weekly Research Tracker published by Fifth Quadrant and TEG Insights reports the number of small and medium Australian businesses that have experienced a decline in revenue has jumped from 65% to 74% this week. The Hospitality and Retail sectors continue to be the hardest hit, but companies involved in Construction and Manufacturing are turning the corner.
Table 1: Decline in Revenue due to COVID-19
Despite this revenue fall, the proportion of businesses cutting staff has remained steady at 34% and confidence in the Federal Government continues to rise as the number of new COVID-19 cases plummets.
Table 2: Satisfaction with the Government's Response
The COVID-19 SME Weekly Tracker is conducted by leading business market research firm ACA Research in partnership with TEG Insights and tracks the impact of COVID-19 across more than 300 small and medium enterprises each week.
Despite declining revenue, concerns about business survival have dropped to 66% from 74% in early April. Consequently, the number of SME decision makers concerned about their own wellbeing is now 59% compared to 64% last week.
Table 3: Level of Concern about Personal Wellbeing
There is no doubt that the ongoing restrictions are biting hard as the vast majority of SME’s report a decline in revenue. However, it now seems likely that the Government will start easing lock down measures, signalling the start of a long recovery for many businesses currently fighting for survival.
With lock down measures easing and Government money hitting SME bank accounts, we expect sentiment to edge up over the next few weeks. Undoubtedly there will be some significant hurdles along the way, but hopefully there are brighter times ahead for Australian businesses.
Please click on this link to access the full report including subgroup analysis by industry sector, size of business and State. Fifth Quadrant and TEG Insights will publish weekly updates of this research to track the impact and response to COVID-19. Hopefully the results will become more positive as we work through this crisis together.