A new study by Prospa has revealed the impact Covid-19 has had on the small business sector in New Zealand and sheds light on the optimism felt by many Kiwi small business owners.
Commissioned by Prospa and conducted by YouGov, the survey found that the majority (95%) of respondents enjoy being small business owners in New Zealand. This comes down to being their own boss (73%), a flexible schedule (66%), and pursuing their passion (47%). Creating jobs for others was also cited by 17% of respondents.
Additionally, eight in ten (83%) agree that New Zealand is a great place to be a small business owner, and despite a challenging period, would still recommend starting a small business to others.
Prospa Managing Director, New Zealand, Adrienne Begbie says the findings highlight the shared experiences of small business owners as they’ve navigated through the challenges of the pandemic.
“It’s great to hear about the help and advice they’ve offered and received from fellow business owners and the support they’ve been feeling from the community.”
Despite the obvious disruptions caused by the pandemic, 65% of small business owners are also feeling more connected to and supported by their local community and customers now than pre-covid.
Beyond this, the survey reveals that over half of small business owners are feeling positive about the future. Six in ten (58%) describe their business as being more resilient and sustainable today than before covid-19, compared with only a third (34%) who disagree.
More than half (55%) of respondents have plans to invest in their small businesses within the next six to 12-months. Small business owners under 50 are more likely than those over 50 to say they have plans to invest within this timeframe (75% vs 42%). Common investments include new products and services (49%), marketing and sales channels (37%) and renovations and upgrades (30%). Three in ten (30%) also have plans to hire new staff.
Begbie says small business owners made many sacrifices over the last year, so it’s encouraging to see them look positively to the future.
“With many intending to invest into their business within the next year, it demonstrates how resilient the sector really is and why small businesses are the backbone of the New Zealand economy.
“They’re critical to our collective recovery and we must continue to support local as we did during the height of the pandemic, to ensure these businesses are around for years to come.”