Business continue to face financial impacts of COVID-19: SICCI Survey

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Friday 3 July, Honiara – Businesses continue to face the financial impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic, according to a latest survey conducted by the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI).

A total of sixty-four (64) businesses, a majority of them being Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), participated in the survey which closed on 26 June 2020.

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This is the second survey the Chamber has conducted on its members and the wider business community in its efforts to identify key challenges faced by businesses as a result of COVID-19 considering the important role that businesses play in creating jobs, in long-lasting economic growth, development and prosperity.

Ninety-seven percent (97%) of respondents reported COVID-19 having a financial impact on their business with forty-seven percent (47%) reported high financial impact.

Further, twenty-six percent (26%) do not have access to any funding to manage this impact.

The survey also reported that financial aid such as interest-free loans, rent/loan/tax holiday remains the main business need during this time.

Although most (77%) did not experience any increase in council rates charged to their business, twenty-three percent (23%) did report an increase while one respondent noted an increase of up to seventy percent (70%).

The survey noted that the Government’s Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) is offering some relief for struggling businesses.

The ESP’s Soft Measures, a $25 million allocation for tariff reduction, rental relief and loan repayment relief, is identified to be the most helpful by forty percent (40%) of respondents.

“Immediate recovery measures ($70 million) is identified as second most helpful at twenty-seven percent. The medium to long-term support for growth stimulation ($90 million) is the third most helpful at twenty-three percent” the SICCI survey reported.

Over half of the respondents (57%) state that the general situation of their business is the same since the last SICCI survey whereas, thirty-four percent (34%) report that their general business situation had worsened.

Only nine percent (9%) state that the general business situation for their business had improved since the last survey which was conducted in May 2020.

-SICCI Media

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