14 Jul 2021
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Confidence remains low amongst New Zealand business

By Shannon Williams

Business confidence remains low amongst New Zealand small business owners, however ambition looks to be high with many planning to start new businesses. 

New survey data from Shopify shows almost half of New Zealand's small business owners are only somewhat confident of their business thriving in a post-COVID-19 world (42%). A further one in 10 are not at all confident their business will survive.

However, in spite of this low morale, 41% of New Zealand small business owners are planning on starting a new business in 2021, showing the entrepreneurial spirit of New Zealand business owners.

The new survey data released from commerce firm Shopify uncovers the key challenges faced by small business owners in the past 12 months, and what they turned to in order to survive and recover.

Cash flow and profitability (33%) was identified as the main challenge, followed by social distancing restrictions and lock down laws, which impacted 28% of small business owners.

Personal grit, determination and resilience was noted as the most important initiative, action, or approach that helped small business owners survive the pandemic (38%). The next most important was moving my business online, identified by almost one in five businesses (19%) as being key to their survival.

More key findings from the survey include:

More than half (54%) of New Zealand small business owners identify as solopreneurs, operating as a one person operation

The most important priority over the next 6-12 months for small business owners is building customer loyalty, (37%), followed by establishing a strong online social presence, (34%)

The main concern for small business owners over the next 6-12 months is revenue loss at 29%

Shaun Broughton, managing director of APAC for Shopify, says the survey results reflect the current entrepreneurial economy sweeping New Zealand.

"New Zealanders have proven time and time again that they find inventive ways to prevail in times of struggle and uncertainty," he says.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has been no exception. New Zealand small business owners are keeping their entrepreneurial spirit alive through starting new businesses this year," Broughton says.

"The fact they elected their personal grit, determination and resilience as the top survival method is further proof Kiwi small business owners have what it takes to make it on top and are invaluable assets to the economy."

PureProfile, on behalf of Shopify, surveyed 502 Australians and 250 New Zealanders who identify as small business owners in May 2021, to understand the makeup of A/NZ small businesses: who runs them and why, how big are they and how they were challenged by COVID-19.

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