Many Singapore Businesses Struggling

Many Singapore Businesses Struggling: American Express

SINGAPORE — A survey conducted by American Express shows that roughly 60 percent of businesses in the city-state are in survival mode, and the main problem they are facing is the resurgence of COVID-19 cases, reported Yahoo! Finance on Monday (4 October, SGT).

Between January to August 2021, 41 percent of the respondents revealed that they had mulled closing their business because of pandemic volatility, according to the findings of American Express’ report entitled “Shop Small Business Recovery Research for Singapore”.

However, most entrepreneurs are still cautiously optimistic about the prospects of their business.

Nonetheless, nearly 67 percent of the polled business leaders expect their annual sales to rise for the whole of 2021 compared to annual sales in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. This is up from the 53 percent witnessed last year.

The top factors for their upbeat outlook are support from new clients, continued support from regular customers, and higher revenue arising from expanding their businesses online.

“While local businesses are more optimistic after almost two years since the pandemic started, its volatility weighs heavily on business leaders’ minds, including ours,” said American Express’ country manager for Singapore, Ho Yat-Wai.

“The recent spike in cases is an example of the fluidity of the situation and difficulty in planning,” added Ho.

Another positive insight is that 71 percent of respondents believe that they can flourish in the new normal, with 76 percent of them sharing that they have made changes to their operations to sustain their business in the next 12 months. The top 2 adjustments to carry out in the new normal are to communicate more with clients through social media and focus more on e-commerce.

American Express’ online survey was held from 23 July to 5 August 2021. It involved 300 business leaders with a physical presence here that generated an annual revenue of up to S$100 million.

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