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Thursday, July 18, 2024

A fifth of Australian small businesses are out of cash, and plenty more are on the verge of joining them

More than one in five small businesses have run out of cash reserves, and a further three are just months from joining them, according to a new survey.

The research from pollster YouGov, commissioned by small business lender Prospa, found that 22 per cent of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have completely depleted their reserves.

Another 18 per cent are relying on less than a month’s worth of expenses, while 21 per cent think they will run out of funds within the next two months.

“The current economic conditions are such that small businesses are getting further away from the three to six months’ cash reserves recommended to cover operating expenses,” Propser co-founder and chief revenue officer Beau Bertoli said.

The survey of more than 500 business leaders found that hospitality is one of the industries feeling the pinch more than others – little surprise given recent collapses and closures of high-profile restaurants.

“We’re seeing a particular strain on the retail and hospitality industries, which have been disproportionately impacted by a decrease in discretionary spending, supply chain cost increases and rising fuel and energy expenses”, Bertoli said.

According to the survey, 31 per cent of owners have used personal funds to pay small business expenses, while 44 per cent are dealing with increased stress and burnout.

The research comes as the Reserve Bank begins its June interest rates meeting, with the decision to be made tomorrow.

The market is predicting rates will remain at their current 12-year high of 4.35 per cent, but forecasts of when the first rate cut will take place have been pushed back and there is some speculation borrowers and businesses could be hit by a hike thanks to recent higher-than-expected inflation data.

Further complicating the picture for small businesses is the significant tax debt they owe.

The Australian Taxation Office put that figure at $33 billion in April, much of it unpaid GST and PAYG withholding.

“We are seeing an increasing number of businesses fall behind on these types of payments, from which point it is very difficult for businesses to get back on top of their obligations and remain viable,” ATO Commissioner Rob Heferen said at the time.

I am the CEO founder of Page3news worldwide & Page3news foundation. Believe in simple living & high thinking.
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Mr King (Parvinder Singh)
Founder & CEO - Page3News Worldwide
Dr. Monruedee Sommart
Co-Founder Page3news Worldwide

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