PTI Pacific Business Monitor
The COVID-19 outbreak has caused a global health emergency and an economic slowdown impacting millions of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) around the world, including the Pacific region.
As international tourism plays a major role in local Pacific economies, travel bans and restrictions on gatherings in particular are affecting businesses across this region.
In April 2020, the Pacific Trade Invest Network commissioned Fifth Quadrant, an independent research agency, to run a regular survey to understand the ongoing effects of COVID-19 on the Blue Pacific’s private sector.
At the end of May 2021, The PTI Network decided to reschedule the surveys to a bimonthly arrangement for the remainder of 2021.
We have received feedback from businesses of survey fatigue and that business situations are not changing and unlikely to change especially with announcements that international borders may not be open until mid-2022.
This research is still vital as currently the PTI Pacific Business Monitor is the only ongoing regional survey tracking the impact of COVID-19 on businesses in the Pacific, and we continue to receive feedback from donors and regional stakeholders of the data’s importance. Moving the survey to bi-monthly will allow us to keep Pacific businesses engaged in participating, while still ensuring we are still monitoring the effect of COVID-19.
Key Insights - July 2021
- The extent and severity of COVID-19 on Pacific businesses has remained stable, with 84% reporting a negative impact, which is consistent with last wave.
- 87% of businesses reported a decline in revenue due to COVID-19, (down from 88% last wave).
- 70% are confident that their business will survive the COVID-19 crisis, (up from 69% last wave).
The top three challenges facing businesses are:
» Poor cashflow (86%)
» Not knowing how long the crisis will last (86%)
» Impact of closed international borders (84%)
The top four initiatives businesses require assistance with are:
» Financial support (52%)
» Access to new markets (37%)
» Review financial position (31%)
» Diversify business (29%)
64% of female-led businesses report having barriers that prevent them actioning initiatives to support their business, compared to 51% of male-led businesses.