More than half of small businesses have not yet asked their bank for help

More than half of small businesses have not yet asked their bank for help

More than half of small businesses have not yet asked their bank for help

ISME has published the results of their Quarter 2 2020 Trends Report and July COVID-19 Survey. The Trends survey was conducted in the first week of July, and shows an overall improvement in business confidence Q1, albeit from a very low level.

Business sentiment regarding future sales and future employment have also improved somewhat. Regarding insurance costs, most businesses are still experiencing premium increases.

The top concerns for SMEs in this quarter are Economic Uncertainty at 83%, Brexit at 43% and Insurance Costs at 26%. Reduced Orders have jumped to 47% as a Q2 concern, clearly driven by COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Survey shows that 69% of respondents are availing of the TWSS, and 30% of our self-employed respondents are availing of the PUP.

58% of respondents have not yet asked for assistance from their banks, which ISME CEO, Neil McDonnell calls "surprising at this point in the pandemic."

Regarding business mortality, there is a continued improvement in sentiment among SME respondents, with a cumulative 2.7% of them seeing their business failing within one month. This is down from a cumulative 11% at the end of April.

Reacting to the surveys, ISME CEO Neil McDonnell said:

“We are delighted to see business sentiment rise in the current environment. But there is a long road ahead for many SMEs, with COVID-19 and a hard Brexit remaining a serious threat for many.

"Coming the week after a botched attempt to remove the TWSS from proprietary directors, and the same week the Commission for Regulation of Utilities announced an average €8,705 (128%) increase in the energy PSO levy for many small businesses, the State must work much harder to protect our job creators.

"We call on Ministers Donohoe and McGrath for more meaningful and robust business supports and tax measures in our 2021 Pre-Budget Submission. The July Stimulus was a good start, but did not go far enough.”

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