Aussie SMEs suffering under extreme weather conditions

More than a third of SMEs across Australia have had their business negatively impacted in some way by the recent extreme weather conditions, according to the latest TEC Confidence Index Survey.

More than a third of SMEs across Australia have had their business negatively impacted in some way by the recent extreme weather conditions, according to the latest TEC Confidence Index Survey.

According to the survey, which was conducted in February 2014 and included 378 responses from CEOs and business ownersnationwide, SME business owners were the hardest hit in South Australia, where prolonged heat and significant fire events struck. 61 per cent of surveyed SMEs reported the impact of extreme weather. Loss of productivity was the greatest impact reported (17 per cent nationally, 37 per cent in SA), followed by power outages (8 per cent, 20 per cent in SA) and absenteeism (6 per cent, 12 per cent in SA). 

TEC found that 24 per cent of SMEs are now doing something to prepare for extreme weather events, while a further nine per cent plan to do something and eight per cent would like to do something but don’t know where to start. 

“These figures demonstrate the key role that governments and business leaders must take in assisting businesses to respond to the current and future challenges posed by climatic conditions,” Nikki Potter, CEO of TEC, said. 

“Of those preparing, respondents in the most affected state, SA, and those in the $1.5m - $5m turnover bracket, were most likely to be examining their business planning and risk management for future extreme weather events when compared to other groups. 

“In all states respondents said the most common effect experienced was a loss of productivity. This tells us something about the impact extreme weather can and does have on the economy overall. The largest affect was felt by those respondents from SA and those in the largest turnover bracket, $100m+, with 58 per cent and 61 per cent, respectively.”

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