SMEs are worried that the economic downturn will hurt summer sales

A new survey has revealed that more than half of Australian small businesses are concerned that increased cost of living pressures will mean they can’t hit their summer sales targets, serving as a great reminder for consumers to support small businesses this summer.

The survey by Xero also revealed that over a quarter (28.1 per cent) of small businesses are concerned that the cost of new supplies and equipment will prevent them from achieving their targets.

These revelations are a particular concern as recent data from another Xero study uncovered that small businesses in Australia already receive almost 20 per cent less of their annual revenues over January and February. (Full report here)

Late payments still hurting businesses

Late payments are, unfortunately, still costing small businesses. Xero Small Business Insights data shows half of all payments to small businesses are paid late, with the manufacturing and information, media & telecommunications industries seeing the largest additional seasonal delay in late payment times.

These late payments then have a knock-on effect, with over 40 per cent of small businesses surveyed admitting they struggle to then pay their suppliers, or even staff, on time.

Tech support a must

Finally, when asked what further support could be provided to small businesses to support summer trading, nearly half (49.7 per cent) requested grants for technology to support business management, while 41.4 per cent requested rebates for customers who spend at small businesses.

Beyond fiscal support, over 75 per cent of small businesses surveyed noted that support with word of mouth or social media is vital to their business.

Impact on the local economy revealed 

The survey also revealed how supporting small businesses has a flow effect on the local community, with over a third (34.9 per cent) noting they donate to local community groups or schools, over a quarter (26.8 per cent) choosing to volunteer, and over 30 per cent sponsor local clubs or give to local business initiatives.

Will Buckley, Country Manager Australia, Xero, said, “While most Aussies know the importance of shopping small over summer, these results – and the stories we hear from small businesses – reinforce just how important it is for us to support our local economies at a critical time of year. 

“We’re all feeling the effects of the increased cost of living; the summer holiday period is a valuable way to choose to spend time – and money – on small businesses who have had a turbulent few years,” says Buckley.

“Seeing how much small businesses mean to a local community reinforces the importance of supporting small where and when you can,” says Buckley. “These results show that a dollar spent at your small business will have a flow-on effect on your local community.”

“Supporting small businesses doesn’t always need to be financial; sharing recommendations with your network and taking the time to leave a positive review are small things that have a big impact. Whatever form it takes, our message is to get out there and support the small operators this summer.”

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