CAPER TOWN –
The Yoco Small Business Recovery Monitor showed the average turnover of small and medium sized businesses (SME) increased 3 percent in the week to May 26, bringing the index up to 47 percent of pre-Covid-19 levels countrywide.
SME’s faced severe financial difficulties through Levels 5 and 4 of the lockdown as most had to continue paying rent, salaries and other operational expenses while being forced to close through the lockdown. Most SME open on June 1, in terms of Level 3 of the lockdown.
Yoco, distributor of point-of-sale (POS) devices to more than 80 000 merchants who operate mainly small businesses, launched the Yoco Small Business Recovery Monitor earlier this month, which as far as is known, is the only live, publicly available, small business transaction data resource.
The index can be used by entrepreneurs to benchmark performance and aid decision-making through what is likely to be one of the toughest trading periods for any company. The index tracks the recovery of small businesses in South Africa through the lockdown and thereafter.
The three percent gain was the slowest improvement in the monitor the last three weeks.
Provincial improvements were driven by significant increases in SME turnover in
Limpopo (+9 percent) Gauteng (+5 percent).
All other provinces improved by between 1 percent and 3 percent.
Four provinces have breached the halfway point to recovery, with SME turnover
eclipsing the 50 percent mark of the pre-COVID levels in the Northern Cape, Limpopo, Free
State and KwaZulu-Natal.
In the week from 13-19 May, total SME turnover had increased by another 4 percent to 44 percent of pre-COVID levels countrywide.
This increase had been driven by improvements in both the food, drink, and hospitality industry (+5 percent) as well as in the retail (+6 percent) industry, as restaurants pivoted to offer delivery and pickup services, as well as the supply of meal boxes and frozen meals.
A major shift in shopping trends that week saw turnover peaking on Friday as opposed to
Saturday, the beginning of the weekend. The dropoff in trading over weekends had
been a recurrent theme through the month.