Major events cause SME anxiety

by Madison Utley18 Apr 2019

Research commissioned by online lender OnDeck has examined the impact upcoming events such as the rapid succession of holidays and the federal election may have on SMEs.

Because Anzac Day falls so closely to Easter this year, employees are able to have a 10-day holiday at the expense of just three days of annual leave.

Over one in four SMEs expect the unique set of circumstances to disrupt normal trading.

Cameron Poolman, CEO of OnDeck Australia, explained: “Negativity around the proximity of Easter/Anzac Day is likely being driven by the need to manage employee leave requests. One in two (52%) SMEs expect staff to take leave over the period, with one-third (31%) of these business owners expressing concerns about possible staff shortages. A similar proportion (29%) are expecting their cashflow to shrink over the public holiday period.”

The research also revealed that six out of ten small businesses have been impacted by previous major political events, especially elections.

Poolman said, “The possibility of a change in federal government often sees consumers and businesses put major purchases or projects on hold – at least until the polls have delivered a clear result.

“While that’s understandable, the SME sector bears the brunt of this wait-and-see approach.”

That said, 59% of those surveyed communicated that improved access to cashflow would help their business better navigate future events. 

According to Noah Breslow, global CEO of OnDeck, “Cashflow is the lifeblood of many SMEs. So it makes sense that additional funding can help SMEs navigate difficult trading conditions that can accompany a critical event.”

The data indicated that over half of the respondents would attempt to secure a loan from a bank, while 44% said they would consider using an online lender.

“We are not just a positive option for SMEs rejected by their bank. Online lenders also offer the advantage of speed and convenience for those businesses that would be eligible for bank lending,” said Breslow.

“This can be a critical advantage in preparing for events that are likely to have a short-term impact,” he finished.