Right size, right structures, right skills and sheer grit are the fight for life tactics small and medium enterprises are employing to stay open for business and retain jobs in what many see as a deteriorating economic outlook, says Auckland Business Chamber CEO Michael Barnett, on the results of the latest survey of Auckland businesses.
“SMEs are under no illusion that another wave of redundancies is coming. The larger SMEs, those employing between 20-50 people, are sounding the warning bell that more redundancies are inevitable as they grapple with the realities of the new operating environment after months of shutdown and disruptions,” Mr Barnett said. Overall 33% of firms surveyed indicated more redundancies were yet to come.
“Our Business Confidence poll taken this week as the country transitioned to Level One has a couple of other standout markers with 82 per cent of respondents to the online survey saying they are confident their business will survive, despite 72 per cent of them signalling that the general business situation around New Zealand will deteriorate further, or at best remain the same.”
“But, the SME community is showing resilience and a strong fighting, self-help spirit to get into shape to have an offer that appeals to customers and can compete in a marketplace where uncertainty prevails at present. At least 57 per cent of businesses are reporting they have, or will be restructuring, to get down to the right size and 41 per cent are reskilling to be able to meet demand and scale up ready to move into the next phase of reviving the current depressed market and identify a pathway for future sustainable recovery.
A summary of key results is below:
- 82% are confident their business will survive the pandemic
- 72% thought it would remain the same or deteriorate
- 33% have or intend to make staff redundant
- 57% have restructured their business as a result of the pandemic
- 41% of those who have restructured have experienced a demand for a different skill set
- 74% say government support has assisted them to survive the pandemic
- 70% have used contact tracing