NZ SME Business Facts - A Decline Happening

New Zealand small businesses are defined as those with fewer than 20 employees. 

There were nearly 530,000 small businesses in New Zealand representing 97% of all firms. They accounted for 28 per cent of employment and contribute over a quarter of New Zealand’s gross domestic product (GDP). (Data source: Stats NZ.)

But here is the horror news.

Stuff.co.nz reports: 'In September through to November last year, 16,234 businesses closed permanently, compared to 7154 in the same period in 2019. That is an increase of 127 per cent. It is still down from the peak of 20,853 business closures due to the (2008) global financial crisis. That level was reached in July to September 2011, three years after the initial impact of the downturn.

More facts HERE.

The NZ Retailers Association issued a warning last September that as many as 10,000 businesses are at risk of failing in the next 12 months as Covid-19 has returned resulting in lockdowns.

'Its August survey found that 68 percent of its members reported a decline in sales since the latest lockdown.

The downturn in Auckland was more severe, with 90 percent of business reporting a drop in revenue.

Retail NZ chief executive Greg Harford said the recent outbreak of Covid-19 also knocked retail businesses' confidence about their own future.

"We've now got 13 percent of retailers saying they're not confident that their businesses will survive and another 23 percent saying that they're on a knife edge and it could go either way.

"Overall, those are pretty concerning numbers and suggest there's around 10,000 retail businesses that are at serious risk."

The proportion of businesses that were confident they would be operating in 12 months time also took a step back, falling 11 points to 64 percent.
Retail NZ's survey also showed 73 percent of retailers were struggling to import goods from overseas'.

More facts HERE.

The New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment says:

 'The recovery of New Zealand’s small businesses post COVID-19 is vital to the sustainability and growth of the economy and to the wellbeing of thousands of small business owners and the people they employ. They provide jobs and incomes across all parts of the country; provide the goods and services that keep our communities thriving; and help showcase New Zealand as a world-class place to live and do business'.


OmniMedia Solutions is a small and nimble digital strategy and word creation consultancy based in New Zealand’s Waikato. It exists to support SMEs in crafting their stories ready for mainstream media exposure and public digestion. No budget is too small and always ready to talk you through potentials. www.omnimedia.co.nz
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