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Greek Think Tank: Covid-19 to Affect Six out of 10 SMEs

Six out of 10 small and medium-sized businesses may suffer the blow of the coronavirus health crisis as they watch their sales plummet, according to the latest findings of Endeavor Greece, with the majority expecting problems in supply, liquidity, sales, and exports.

According to a new study released by the non-profit think tank, out of 100 fast-growing SMEs, half have modified their working model and product while seven in 10 have automated operations by more than 50 percent.

Completed on March 16, the survey sample covered 100 of the country’s fast-growing SMEs with a turnover of up to 80 million euros achieving in 2019 growth rates of up to 100 percent.

More than half (60 percent) of the businesses polled said they had no business continuity plan at the start of the pandemic, while one in three said they did not have the necessary infrastructure in place to support a remote working model. Six out of 10 said they were poorly or not prepared for the crisis.

The study found that with the coronavirus outbreak, 60 percent of the SMEs saw a marked decline in sales, expected to take a 50 percent bite out of annual revenue and to impact profitability.

Meanwhile, the supply chain is also taking a hit with 70 percent of the companies under examination already facing a shortage of basic raw materials sourced from abroad.

Plaka, Athens. Photo Source: Region of Attica

Photo Source: Region of Attica

Another major blow to the Greek economy is the impact of Covid-19 on employment, with 30 percent claiming that they expect to be forced to slash their workforce by up to 25 percent, and 5 percent expecting a 50 percent reduction in the workforce.

It should however be noted that the majority of participants – at 65 percent – said they are currently not planning any lay-offs.

Lastly, according to the survey, four out of 10 participants said they expect the coronavirus health crisis to end in the next two months with a speedy recovery. The same percentage feels that instability related to the epidemic will continue throughout the year.

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