October 7, 2021 – Singapore - To shed light on the impact the global health crisis – and ongoing recovery – has had on small businesses globally, Mastercard released its latest report: Recovery Insights: Small Business Reset. Looking at 19 markets around the world, including Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, the report reveals that sales at small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) lagged larger companies by up to 20 percentage points at the peak of the crisis. However, 2021 indicated an upward trend. Total sales at SMBs rose 4.5% through August 2021 year-to-date compared to the same period in 2020, and e-commerce sales grew 31.4% globally.
“While businesses of all size were adversely impacted by the pandemic, reliance on local SMB support and lack of digital infrastructure saw SMBs in APAC experiencing far greater hardships at the outset.” said David Mann, Chief Economist, AP and MEA, Mastercard Economics Institute (MEI). “Against a backdrop of mobility restrictions and zero covid strategies, e-commerce was a lifeline for organizations to ride out the pandemic. However, the accelerated shift to digital has paved the way for the next generation of entrepreneurs, and we’ve seen a surge in newcomers seizing an opening amidst the disruption.”
Drawing on the MEI’s new Small Business Performance Index* of aggregated and anonymized sales activity within the Mastercard network, Recovery Insights: Small Business Reset identifies several key trends:
Supporting small business owners is a continued priority for Mastercard, which pledged to bring 50 million small businesses and 25 million women entrepreneurs into the digital economy by 2025. Mastercard’s Digital Doors curriculum helps businesses get online and stay protected, ensuring they have the right tools to maximize their digital presence and integrate e-commerce seamlessly, including the free Small Business Digital Readiness Diagnostic. Most recently, Mastercard committed $25 million to help more than five million micro and SMBs digitize through the Strive initiative.
Mastercard also works closely with governments, businesses, and other organizations around the world to create environments, programs and policies so small businesses can flourish. Mastercard provides high-frequency, local spending insights to dozens of city, state and federal governments as part of our City Possible and Recovery Insights programs, as well as content such as the recent policy paper addressing ways governments can support SMB recovery.
Re-disseminated from The Asian Banker.