Business owners say they are still deeply worried about their companies future, despite the country reopening in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic. 

The online survey - carried out by Malta’s Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprise - interviewed 362 individuals in 15 sectors about how their companies have been faring since restrictions eased between June 29 to July 4.

A large proportion of those who responded said the levels of sales (79%) remains their biggest concern going forward, followed by uncertainty (69%), employee wages (57%) and collecting payments (45%). Another 33% said paying utility bills and rent (31%) was still a concern. 

List of demographics of respondents of survey. IMAGE: Malta Chamber of SMEsList of demographics of respondents of survey. IMAGE: Malta Chamber of SMEs

Almost half (46%) said their landlord did not help them with rent, while another 44% said they had their rent either reduced, postponed or waived altogether. 

The study also found that 55% admitted to having to close their doors completely during the lockdown period of March to June. 

Concerns about the future

When asked how long businesses think can survive in the current situation, only a third said they can exist longer than 12 months.

When it came to planning for the future, 48% of business owners said they would “continue as normal”, with others choosing to start redundancies (14%) or declare bankruptcy (1%).

Seventy-two per cent said they were eligible for a government subsidy scheme of €2,500 per business, however, 39% marked the government a low 1/5 when rating its assistance overall.  

Companies were asked about their biggest concerns IMAGE: Malta Chamber SMEsCompanies were asked about their biggest concerns IMAGE: Malta Chamber SMEs

When it came to teleworking, less than half of those surveyed (43%) said it applied to their line of work. Of these, 17% said it was a positive experience, while five per cent believed it was negative. 

The remaining 12% said they had “mixed feelings” about how working from home went with their employees.  

A large 73% said they would keep some form of teleworking arrangement going forward.   


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