Survey Says 57% SMEs Have No Cash Reserve To Recover from COVID-19

Initial results of a six-month survey reveal that 40% tried to borrow money to cover expenses.

New Delhi: Despite several businesses remaining closed during the lockdown, 81% of micro-enterprises polled are confident of a recovery post COVID-19 whereas 57% reported not having any cash reserves to survive, according to a survey.

Initial results of a six-month survey that is underway by GAME (Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship) in association with LEAD at Krea University covering 1,500 micro-enterprises also reveal that 40% tried to borrow money to cover expenses.

However, only 14% of the overall borrowing was from formal borrowing sources.

As per the revised criteria, any firm with investment up to Rs 1 crore and turnover under Rs 5 crore is classified as a “micro” enterprise.

Madan Padaki, co-founder of GAME, said COVID-19 has left a devastating impact on the Indian economy, especially micro-enterprises that comprise around 99% of all firms in India.

“Through this longitudinal survey, we intend to truly understand the on-ground situation and challenges faced by micro-enterprises in managing cash flows, dealing with broken supply chains and delayed payments. By keeping our ears to the ground, we want to provide specific recommendations to all ecosystem actors to accelerate the recovery of these enterprises,” Padaki said.

The survey also revealed that across all respondents, female business owners faced more household challenges than men.

In fact, 70% female business owners suggested inter-house conflicts as the biggest challenge while 53% men responded to the same. Women also faced more unaffordable expenses than men, with 46% suggesting the same, the survey said.