Six out of ten businesses have experienced a decline in turnover over the past year, with 68 per cent stating in a survey their dissatisfaction with the extent of government assistance throughout the Covid situation.
These were among the key findings of just-released market research, conducted by Cmrc Cypronetwork Ltd who polled 254 companies from November to December 2021, seeking to take the pulse of the business community amid the ongoing coronavirus-related restrictions.
The survey found that the pandemic had a significant impact on the general operations of most businesses – 68 per cent – and especially in the tourism sector.
Two out of three companies chose not to hire part-time employers, about one-quarter said they are employing one to five persons on a part-time basis, and almost one-tenth are offering part-time jobs to six or more persons.
Notably, 68 per cent were disappointed with the assistance provided through the various government support schemes; only five per cent thought the assistance helped “a lot”, and 22 per cent said the relief helped somewhat.
Also, just 6 per cent of businesses are completely/very satisfied with their performance over the past year; whereas 40 per cent are “quite satisfied”, and 49 per cent not at all/hardly satisfied.
The most important problems cited were reduced clientele/sales and the lack of liquidity. To cope, businesses are turning to strategies like new promotional methods and hiring specialised staff.
Meanwhile a mere 13 per cent saw their turnover grow over the last year, with 59 per cent suffering a decline. Of those polled, 15 per cent said labour costs have gone up, and 13 per cent cited an increase in the cost of financing.
And 62 per cent stated their purchasing costs have risen – an outlier finding compared to previous cycles of the same research. Significantly, 22 per cent said the value of their business has dropped.
About a third of those surveyed expected business to remain the same over the coming period, 27 per cent predicted it would fall, and 24 per cent forecast an uptick in business.
Among the measures they would like to see, are tax relief, financing schemes, as well as new and better targeted assistance programmes.