MYOB research reveals extent of JobKeeper impact on helping keep small businesses running

26 Jun 2020

Research released today by MYOB has revealed that the government’s JobKeeper program has been a lifeline for small businesses, with 84% of small business owners that were eligible for the JobKeeper program reporting that the subsidy allowed them to continue trading. Australian small business owners also believe that the government has done a good job, with 71% saying the Australian government response is better than that of the United States, and 68% says it is better than the United Kingdom.

This special COVID-19 Edition of MYOB’s long running Business Monitor surveyed more than 1,000 Australian SMEs between April and May, at the height of the pandemic. It highlights the impact COVID-19 has had on small businesses around Australia and across industries including financial, agriculture, trades, transport, retail and hospitality.

The sudden and brutal impact of COVID-19 has seen four in ten business owners say their business is in hibernation for six months, with a further 24% reporting that their business has or will need to permanently shut down.

The research also found:

•   68% say their revenue is down due to the impact of COVID-19

•   1 in 5 small businesses were very unprepared for the pandemic to hit

•   26% of small businesses say the impact of the epidemic will last at least a year or two

•   1 in 4 respondents think the Australian government responded better to the pandemic than New Zealand

•   Of those businesses that were eligible for the JobKeeper program, 84% of small businesses said JobKeeper will allow their business to keep running

•   24% say their business has or will have to permanently close

“The impact of COVID on the small business sector is hard to overstate, as evidenced by the data,” MYOB Economist Jon Manning said.

“Some small business owners believe their recovery will take only a few months while others are expecting it to take years.

“93% small business owners have told us they have seen a reduction in work due to the pandemic. Over the next three to six months 52% of respondents say they expect their revenue to decrease by 20% or more.

“When it comes to projecting how businesses will come out of the pandemic, the outlook is split based on demographics and by industry.

“By industry we can see 35% of Transport, Postal and Warehousing industry believe the disruption will impact their business for up to 6 months’ time whereas 24% of the Retail and Hospitality industry believe it will take between one and two years for their business to bounce back,” Mr. Manning added.

One way to help businesses bounce back faster will be to continue to support contactless payments.

“Contactless payments will speed up the circulation of money through the economy, improving business’ cash flow along the way and the bigger the transaction value, the bigger the benefit. As life gets back to normal and Australia starts to rebuild the economy, the shape of the recovery will differ from industry to industry. 

“Businesses will bounce back faster if they continue to drive contactless payments to manage cash flow and get paid quicker.  If the velocity by which money electronically changes hands from buyer to seller gathers pace and bigger transactions are possible there is no doubt the economic recovery will speed up too,” Mr. Manning said.


About MYOB

MYOB is a leading business platform with a core purpose of helping more businesses in Australia and New Zealand start, survive and succeed. At the heart of MYOB is a customer base of 1.2 million businesses and a network of more than 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and consultants, for whom MYOB delivers end-to-end business and accounting solutions. MYOB operates across four key segments: Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), Enterprise, Financial Services and Practice. For more information visit or follow @MYOB on Twitter.

About the MYOB Business Monitor
The MYOB Business Monitor is a national survey of 1,000+ Australian small and medium business owners and managers, from sole traders to mid-sized companies, representing the major industry sectors. The Business Monitor researches business performance and attitudes in areas such as profitability, cash flow, pipeline, technology usage and the government. It has run since 2009, commissioned to independent market research firm Colmar Brunton. This most recent survey ran in 17 April-22 May 2020. The businesses participating in the online survey were both non-employing and employing businesses. All data has been weighted by industry type, location and number of employees, which are in line with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS - Counts of Australian businesses, including entries & exits - 8165.0).