Majority of SMEs primed for post-COVID recovery and growth

confidence, funding, revenue growth, claims, lockdowns

A new survey commissioned by travel management company Corporate Traveller reveals that the majority of Australia’s SMEs are in a better position for recovery and growth after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic over the last two years.

The research highlighted that 62 per cent of Australian SMEs used those last two years, especially during the height of the restrictions, to improve their business by pivoting and optimising operations. When asked about the particular measures they took, 45 per cent of businesses offered remote working, flexible work schedules, or more choices in their work arrangements; 27 per cent created a safer workplace for employees by implementing stringent OHS and infection measures; and 31 per cent said they transitioned some or all the business online to retain and attract sales.

Other changes businesses implemented for a positive outcome included introducing new technologies to make their operations more efficient (20 per cent) or streamlining and optimising operations to allow them to do more with fewer people (19 per cent). The same number, 19 per cent, of businesses were also found to have been deemed as an essential service or supplied essential products during the pandemic, which was a factor for their positive performance during that period.

Tom Walley, Global Managing Director at Corporate Traveller, said that it is promising to see that many businesses weren’t deterred too much by the challenges of the last two years and used it to their advantage instead.

“Many Australian SMEs could be in a better position than they were before the pandemic as a result,” Walley said. “Just one in five (19 per cent) businesses didn’t appear to have used the pandemic advantageously by pivoting or optimising operations.

“However, it’s not too late to make changes or engage in activities for growth and recovery and build a more resilient business as a result,” Walley added. “The one thing SMEs are inspirational at are adapting to a new environment and there’s no doubt they will lead our economic recovery. I encourage Australian businesses to reignite or introduce travel programs now that the world has reopened. International travel will allow businesses to expand into new markets, increase sales, and attract new business partners.”