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Small Businesses Must Adapt to New Normal - Westpac

Small Businesses Must Adapt to New Normal - Westpac

(21 February 2022 - Australia) Despite COVID imposing challenging supply chain disruptions, staffing gripes and dragging on economic demand, Westpac reports that is is promising to register resilience and optimism among its small to medium sized enterprise (SME) customers.

A clear dichotomy has emerged between small businesses in survival mode compared to those that are flourishing. 

Just as businesses have always been forced to evolve to meet changing customer preferences and expectations, these “new normal” patterns must be factored into operating models.

Households and businesses have socked away up to A$424 billion in deposits through the pandemic since Q1 2020 according to APRA. Almost three out of four Westpac customers are ahead on their mortgage repayments. Among Westpac customers who have taken out loans through the government-backed SME Recovery Loan Scheme since October 2021, only one in ten have deferred their repayments (10 percent), while one in four are in fact ahead on their repayments (25 percent) Westpac Wire reports (hyperlink

"I’ve never seen such a multi-speed small business operating environment. The divergence isn’t just sectoral. It’s within sectors, creating more micro segments than ever before" commented Westpac Managing Director Business Lending, Shane Howell.

"For some, the most pressing concern is simply to survive the next few months of Omicron disruptions. There are many others who are thriving, but the challenge for them is preparing for whatever their post-pandemic “new normal” might be, recognising many of the shifts in consumer behaviour sparked by lockdowns may be here to stay" Mr Howell added.

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