While it is undeniable Australia’s SMEs are facing an incredibly challenging period, which may understandably make it hard to focus on the future, research from OnDeck Australia has revealed a streak of resilience through the country’s small businesses.
While around just under nine out of ten (86%) SMEs have already been impacted by the pandemic, with 92% expecting COVID to have a ‘negative’ impact on their business in the future, many organisations have insisted on optimism nonetheless.
One in five (17%) of those surveyed expect to recover within three months, with a further 33% hopeful of recovering within six months. For 29% of SMEs, the process could take between nine and 12 months – meaning an overwhelming 80% of small businesses expect to be back on their feet within one year’s time.
Robbie Fidler, national broker channel manager at OnDeck Australia, highlighted some of the “limited-time opportunities” currently available to SMEs to be used as tools to help them attain this better future, such as the $150,000 instant asset write-off which is due to expire on 31 December 2020.
“Despite all the disruption that SMEs have faced this year, it is worth remembering that at some stage the COVID crisis will pass,” said Fidler.
“This makes it important for SME owners to look at how they can invest in their business to enjoy improved productivity, reduce costs or to expand product and service lines in readiness for the future.
“The $150,000 instant asset write-off can be a valuable chance for businesses to invest in the equipment they need for tomorrow, while receiving a tax benefit today.”
Fidler also celebrated SMEs’ growing experimentalism which has become apparent over recent months.
“What is particularly exciting is that SMEs are increasingly starting to explore funding options beyond their everyday bank,” Fidler said.
“One in three (36%) small businesses feel there are now more lending options available, up from 33% a year ago.
“This highlights a growing awareness that business finance is no longer a ‘vanilla’ product where SMEs only have their regular bank to turn to. Competition is good for the industry and for the SME community.”