Covid-19: one in two SMEs fears they will not be able to “withstand a third confinement”

They say “not be able to withstand a third confinement”. This is estimated by one in two business leaders (49%), according to a survey carried out by the Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (CPME) among its members and published Tuesday, January 26. A publication that appears the day before the health defense council to be held on Wednesday.

Out of 2,400 managers of SMEs and very small enterprises (VSEs) who responded from January 7 to 20 to a questionnaire from their organization, 54% also declared themselves “worried about the sustainability of their business”, against 47% in a previous survey in September. 53% consider that the implementation of a curfew slows down their activity and a third (33%) “have the feeling that their business is on state drip”.

Asked about the evolution of their turnover in November and December 2020 compared to the same period of 2019, two thirds (65%) say it has fallen, one in five that it is stable and 15% report an increase. “For 2021, the outlook is mixed, but not catastrophic. While 52% of respondents predict a drop in turnover in the coming months, 48% anticipate a maintenance or even an increase”, notes the employers’ organization in a press release.

Regarding their workforce, they are down in 30% of cases, stable in 61% of companies and up in 9%. “Likewise, if 25% plan to reduce their workforce, 66% plan to keep it and 9% plan to recruit”, continues the CPME.

As for the loan guaranteed by the State (PGE), to which 58% of responding SMEs and VSEs say they have had recourse, nearly one in two (45%) among these beneficiaries think they cannot repay it, against one in three ( 34%) four months ago. Finally, only a quarter (26%) of the leaders questioned feel concerned by the government’s stimulus plan, and only one in ten says they know its terms.

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