SME cites the problem of a surge in staff as it raises the biggest business concerns.

According to a national survey by large non-bank lenders of small businesses, business owners were already suffering from staff problems in late 2021 long before the January 2022 Omicron spike exacerbated the problem of staff shortages. .. ScotPac..

H2 2021 SME Growth Index According to a survey of over 1200 SMEs, 8 out of 10 Australian business owners are most worried about finding enough time to complete compliance, cash flow, and tasks.

This highlights the constraints that the SME sector was already operating in early 2022, even before the current Covid-related stress.

ScotPac A pandemic has significantly exacerbated staff concerns, and a biannual ScotPac survey found that staff issues have quadrupled since 2018, said Craig Michie, senior executive.

“Staff issues were nominated as a major concern by almost half of business owners (49%), but three years ago, a significantly smaller number (12%) called it their number one concern. “Michie said.

“Anecdotally, since the beginning of 2022, eight out of every ten SMEs we fund have new staff to keep existing staff at work and ensure that our business runs every day. He says he’s having a hard time finding it.

“Currently, business owners have so many things that the staff problems caused by Omicron are just one extra burden in addition to the usual burden.

“We will respond faster than ever, become a flexible funding partner that understands short-term needs and challenges, work with SMEs to overcome this latest hurdle and return to growth once recovery begins. I am trying to be able to do it. “

According to Michie, the survey found that about two-thirds (65%) of business owners are concerned about customer issues. This is more than double the 2018 survey results (31%).

Top 3 SME Stresses Driven by Rising Compliance Concerns

latest SME Growth Index We found that the three stresses of compliance, managing cash flow, and having enough time to get the job done during the day are by far the most influential.

“Perhaps the biggest concern with navigating government grants, incentives, and other initiatives during a pandemic was meeting government compliance, named by 85% of small business owners. “It was,” said Michie.

“In 2018, only 10% of small businesses cited government compliance requirements as an urgent concern, so this issue has grown so rapidly for small business owners.

“The second biggest concern identified in this round was that small business owners had enough time to complete the task, which is a worrying factor for 84% of businesses.

“Cash flow concerns conclude the top three issues, with 81.5% of SMEs nominated.”

Gaining access to funds is essential for strong cash flow.Therefore, ScotPac $ 100 Million SME Bounce Back Fund This gives business owners access to up to $ 1 million in interest-free capital for the first three months.

ScotPac SME Growth Index Is a detailed study of Australia’s longest-running SME growth prospects, examining a representative sample of 1255 SMEs.

Other important concerns for business owners this round are imposting new tax measures (44%) and supply chain disruptions (27%). This was a growing concern for SMEs even before the latest supply chain problems caused by the rapid rise. Number of COVID cases across Australia.

The influence of a pandemic

In a study conducted before Omicron variants settled across Australia, Michie found that minority SMEs, although not important, border closures and closures (34%) and pandemic recovery (27%). Was mentioned as the biggest concern.

“These pandemic-specific responses were behind the long-standing problems that plague small business owners: red tape, long hours, cash flow, and far below the priority list.” He said.

Still, more than 4 out of 10 SMEs (42.5%) were stressed by the sudden disruption of their business model. This is a significant increase from 26%, who are concerned about the turmoil in 2018.

He said that trusted advisors such as accountants, brokers and bookkeepers need to pay attention to these small business concerns and assist small business clients with information and advice on how to solve these problems. Said.

“There are many ways for SME owners and their advisors to mitigate common problems, such as restructuring businesses, considering mergers / acquisitions, and discovering new and smarter ways to fund companies.” Michie said.

SME cites the problem of a surge in staff as it raises the biggest business concerns.

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