New Zealand’s small businesses are feeling positive about the future as we head into the Christmas holiday period.

A new survey commissioned by specialist small business lender, Prospa, shows business sentiment among this cohort is upbeat heading into summer, with 73% of those surveyed saying that they felt good about their overall business health and 63% are optimistic about their business’ growth potential over the next 12 months.

The survey of 514 businesses with between one and 49 employees showed that 80% feel prepared for the holiday season, and just under half (43%) expect their business revenue will increase in the next 12 months.

Prospa Managing Director, Adrienne Begbie, is pleased to see such a positive outlook from Kiwi small businesses after a difficult few years.

“This is a really positive sign, as the end of year trading period is often critical for many small businesses. We often see an increase in demand for funds in the lead up to Christmas as businesses need to pay for extra stock and staffing, as well as to cover the cash flow gaps that come at this time of year.

“The overall results show that businesses are feeling positive about their financial health even as they face constraints from rising costs,” says Begbie.

Increased overheads was the biggest concern (31%) identified by small businesses, followed by increased costs to transport and delivery from rising fuel prices (21%) and unpredictable unstable revenue (20%).

The results also indicate that business owners feel the current environment is favourable for growth, with 38% planning on investing in growing their business within the next 12 months. Just under half (45%), say they are likely to access external funds.

Small businesses traditionally find it difficult to access funds through traditional banks, so in October Prospa announced a number of end of year funding offers aimed at helping small business clients through the holiday and new year period, including loans and a line of credit with discounted interest rates.

“The survey results paint a positive picture after the general uncertainty we’ve been living through. Small businesses seem to have their ‘mojo’ back, despite the challenges of increased costs and supply chain disruption.

“It’s really encouraging to see Kiwi SMEs planning to invest in business growth despite a tough operating environment. Access to flexible funding is key reason that SMEs are not only able to survive, but thrive,” adds Begbie.

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