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5 things giving Australian business owners hope right now

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 28: Busier streets in the CBD as shoppers and workers return to George Street on May 28, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images)

An overwhelming majority of business leaders are emotionally concerned about Covid-19, but there are a handful of reasons to stay optimistic, according to a new survey.

A new report by KPMG has revealed that 79 per cent of businesses feel ‘confident’ about their organisation’s ability to rebound financially, underpinned by five reasons or trends.

The government’s strong response to the viral and economic crisis has buoyed sentiments as well as business’ bottom line.

“JobSeeker has been consistently called out as a highly effective and substantial means of support to organisations, preventing deeper cuts to jobs and salary and enabling retention of resources throughout the supply chain,” the KPMG report said.

Some businesses have also found innovative ways to respond to the tough business conditions and pivot into something new.

“Businesses who diversified their product or service offerings in a timely manner have been able to manage risks and sustain cash flow more effectively.”

Optimism is higher among larger businesses such as franchises, which have worked together to share resources and support to franchisees, helping them respond more quickly.

Australia’s strong response to the Covid-19 crisis helps Australian businesses be perceived as attractive given we avoided the worst of the crisis and flattened the curve quickly, according to KPMG.

And many businesses have adopted new ways of working.

“Some businesses have realised positive business efficiencies due to their workforce operating from home, and the benefits this has had on productivity and culture.”

Challenges for Aussie businesses

But Australian businesses anticipate myriad challenges on the road to recovery ahead: the economic environment was named the biggest risk or challenge facing organisations (79 per cent) by far.

(Source: KPMG)

A fall in consumer confidence (48 per cent) was the second-most significant business risk, while increases in cost/pressure on profitability and workforce engagement and capability came in equal third place as the biggest business risk (43 per cent).

Data and crisis management have fallen down to the bottom of the list as pressing business risks (4 per cent).

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