JobKeeper ends: Where to next for small business finance?
JobKeeper and other government support such as the NSW commercial lease package have officially ended. For many small businesses, a big question now is how they'll be able to manage dips in cashflow as a result of withdrawn financial relief. According to recent research from Scotpac, when it comes to plans for recovery and growth for the rest of 2021, 65% of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) want to restructure their business. That includes looking for other avenues of funding.Among those surveyed, 20% SMEs said they will need to cut costs to balance out the loss of stimulus funds. Nearly 20% are looking to make arrangements with the Australian Taxation Office, while about 16% plan to apply for a business loan. Unfortunately, another 25% of respondents said they have no strategy to get back on track. There are also more SMEs than last year who said they may have to shut down or sell their business if the market doesn't significantly improve - 34%, up from 31% in 2020. These figures were based on a national poll with 1,253 small businesses, conducted as part of ScotPac’s biannual SME Growth Index. Scotpac’s chief executive, Jon Sutton said that while there are a few “green shoots” indicating that the small business sector has withstood the worst of the pandemic, “the recovery is uneven and varies significantly by state, region and industry”. “Many businesses are forecasting growth, but many are not out of the woods yet,” he said. On the one hand, according to ScotPac's survey, 44% of SMEs feel more confident about running their business compared to pre-COVID, and about 55% have expressed plans to invest in growth over the next six months - up 3% since late last year. Scotpac’s SME revenue growth forecast is also up eight points for the first half of 2021. On the other hand however, Sutton said a lot of small businesses continue to do it tough. “There are positives, but we have to be realistic about what lies ahead. We still have half of the businesses polled this round, saying they are not yet ready to invest back into their business,” he said.Read More