Updates to this research will be published fortnightly to track the impact and response to COVID-19. View previous wave.
The latest wave of the COVID-19 SME Research Tracker shows that despite most SMEs (69%) still experiencing the negative impact of the pandemic, it is very evident that revenues are rebounding with 41% reporting higher income in September, than in August.
Table 1: Current Revenue Compared to Previous Months' Revenue
Expectations regarding the short term also continue on a strong upward trend with 37% now expecting better revenues 4 weeks from now. Short term confidence is increasing in all states including Victoria.
Table 2: Future Revenue Expectations
Despite revenues improving, job data is more negative with 38% now reporting COVID-19 related job losses compared to 31% in September. Hopefully, this is a short-term trend, and not an indication that the reduction in JobKeeper payments is triggering more job cuts.
Table 3: Change in Staff Numbers (Before the Crisis vs Now)
Notwithstanding negative job data at an overall level, it is positive to report an uptick in the number of SMEs currently hiring (up 3% to 15%), with the Hospitality sector driving the demand for new team members.
Table 4: Job Roles
In summary, confidence is continuing to improve as business conditions and revenues increase. However, it is concerning to see a bounce in job losses now that the JobKeeper payments have reduced. Let's hope the proportion of SMEs hiring continues to trend up to counter any further losses amongst those SMEs battling through these difficult times.
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 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.