Coronavirus impacting activity of 39 pct of SMEs in Poland - research

Close to 39 percent of Polish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have declared that the coronavirus epidemic is having a negative influence on their business, research has revealed.

Around 30 percent of SMEs are afraid that in the course of the next three months, the virus threat may cause a fall in sales and a lack of workers, according to the study.

The research, commissioned by the Reliable Company (Rzetelna Firma) certificate-issuing firm working under the patronage of the National Debt Register (KRD), showed that in the first week of March, almost 39 percent of companies in the SME sector felt the negative impact of growing numbers of coronavirus infection in Europe and worldwide.

Some 37.5 percent of them said that as a result they would have raised costs of doing business and in one in three firms there was a visible fall in sales and production. A further 27.5 percent of those surveyed mentioned reduced financial liquidity.

Companies are primarily afraid of reduced sales (57 percent) and lack of people for work (51 percent). To a lesser degree they fear raised costs of doing business (35 percent) and limited investment (30 percent).

Asked how long an enterprise could last without declaring bankruptcy if the CoV-2 coronavirus spreads in Poland and large-scale quarantine is imposed, 11 percent of pollees indicated one month at the most, 19 percent said three months and 24 percent claimed they could survive for half a year. A further 26 percent of respondents said their enterprise could survive for a year or more.

The IMAS company conducted the research in the first week of March on a representative sample of 206 companies from the SME sector.