NEWS  |  

Following months of lockdown restrictions, retailers in Auckland can now reopen, but fears remain over global supply chain issues ahead of the festive season, according to the results of a new survey.

The findings from business accounting company MYOB includes data from 500 local SME decision-makers. The poll revealed 77% of SMEs were worried about wider supply chain disruptions stemming from the Covid crisis.

MYOB's holiday trading results showed over 80% of SMEs are concerned about the effect of the Delta outbreak on their business over Christmas and New Year, with 37% cited as being extremely concerned.

As such, 55% of the SMEs polled stated they had made changes to their business this year to be prepared for any pandemic-related disruptions. Out of this 55%, 10% said they have completely adapted or repositioned their business.

Jo Tozer, MYOB head of customer services stated businesses will have to be more flexible to the rapidly changing environment: "For this holiday trading period, New Zealand businesses will have to contend with the Delta variant continuing to spread, a change from the current alert levels to a new traffic light system, the potential introduction of vaccine passports, as well as some vaccine mandates for frontline staff, and a global supply chain that is looking increasingly fractured.

"With timing still uncertain around many of these factors, all of this makes for an extremely uncertain picture, as many businesses work hard to prepare for what is traditionally a vital trading time for many SMEs," Tozer added.

Moreover, Tozer said in the last year's holiday trading snapshot, 32% of SMEs said they were ordering stock early to avoid any delays – close to 10% less than this year.

"The number of SMEs revising business plans to prepare for a change in alert levels has also increased on last year, with 32% taking this action in 2020 (compared with 37% in 2021)," she added.

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