The percentage of SMEs reporting significantly worse cash flow has doubled since March 2018.

Number of Australian SMEs reporting worsening cash flow has doubled

New data has revealed the extent of the cash flow crisis for small and medium-sized businesses in Australia, news that will be of interest for small publishers when considering their own business operations, and that of their clients.

The latest SME Growth Index has found one in five SMEs are experiencing cash flow problems due to business loans being rejected. 

According to the data, the percentage of SMEs reporting significantly worse cash flow has doubled since March 2018, with 7.3 per cent saying it is significantly worse, and 12.3 per cent saying it is worse than the previous year.

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell said “Australian small businesses are in the midst of a cash flow crisis and the SME Growth Index indicates the situation is getting worse.

“Small businesses are telling us time and time again that a lack of access to funding is their biggest barrier to growth. This has major implications for the sector as a whole as well as the economy more broadly.

Image courtesy: the SME Growth Index.

“Interestingly, the Index found just one in 10 SMEs said they had no cash flow concerns in the past year.

“This highlights why it is so important for small businesses to be paid on time.

Ms Carnell said that it is more important than ever for small businesses to understand the range of funding options available on the market: “The big four banks are not the only game in town!”

The ASBFEO has created a Business Funding Guide that includes up-to-date information about finance options for SMEs and provides tips for businesses to improve their finances to give them the best chance at securing funding. 


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