Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

A new survey shows that despite economic uncertainty SA’s small-business owners remain optimistic that their enterprises will survive or continue to grow.

The research by cloud accounting software provider Xero was conducted in partnership with World Wide Worx. It was based on a survey of 411 small-business owners and reveals that 40% believe their operations will record some growth over the coming year, while 45% expect their organisation to stay the same size.

The National Development Plan (NDP), a government blueprint for eliminating poverty and reducing inequality, has ambitious goals for the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector — including a target of 90% of employment opportunities to be created by this sector by 2030.

Some of the findings of the survey include:

• 89% of small-business owners are confident in managing their companies’ finances

• 92% have not missed a tax deadline

• 89% say the Department of Small Business Development has not assisted their enterprises

• 48% want the government to provide more funding

• 43% think the government should grant tax breaks for their businesses

• 35% of the country’s entrepreneurs are concerned about cash flow issues, while 23% are worried about future sales

Darren Upson, a director of small business at Xero, said: "Small-business owners face turbulent times ahead, but this country’s entrepreneurs are nothing if not resilient. In fact, 40% still expect to grow this year. It’s those businesses able to adapt to these challenging circumstances that will succeed regardless of economic volatility."

Vusi Thembekwayo, CEO of MyGrowthFund and Iconoclast "knowledge bureau" said small businesses continued to face several challenges. "It’s been a difficult year for SA’s enterprise community … As economic turmoil has intensified, the challenges facing businesses of all sizes have multiplied — with small businesses, especially, being affected. Technological nous, agility, and adaptability will be key to navigating the choppy waters of the next few years, and the country’s small businesses have that in droves."

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