You can download the survey PDF using the right side button
Turnover expectations for 2020 have dropped severly: changes to recruitment plans are more moderate: SMEs have revised their turnover projections to an unprecedented extent this year (balance of opinion at -59 compared with +25 at y/e 2019, a record low). Changes to recruitment plans seem more limited (balance of opinion at -13, above the 2009 low point of -17), possibly connected to the widespread use of the new short-time working scheme.
SMEs' cash flowshave evidently declined significantly, but the vast majority of SMEs report they are in a position to overcome these financial difficulties: Despite this marked deterioration in their financial situations, a mere 3% of SMEs view their cash flow issues as insurmountable, given the support schemes from which they benefit. 90% of SMEs report they have used at least one of the government-backed schemes to help meet their cash requirements.
The state-guaranteed loans have been hugely popular and at this point still constitute an important reserve to meet cash requirements in the coming months: One SME with 1-250 employees out of 2 (51%) applied for a state-guaranteed loan. The proportion does not vary according to size or trade sector, with the exception of tourism. Only 35% of SMEs report having used more than hald of their state-guaranteed loan to pay for routine expenditure, compared with 59% havinf used less than half of their loan at the time of the survey, with 33% reporting "little or no" use.
Lower turnover and massive uncertainty having an adverse effect on capital expenditure this year: Businesses are making substantial changes to their investment plans for 2020. However, more SMEs anticipate postponing their plans rather than cancelling them. Weak demand is the main obstacle to capital expenditure, mentioned by 61% of SMEs. Lack of equity is mentioned by 33% of SMEs, lower than the level in 2015-2016. 22% of businesses say they are receptive to outside investment, in the form of new shareholders rather than a fund in the vast majority of cases.
Just 50% of SMEs anticipate a swift return to a normal level of business, but overall their confidence has greatly improved since lockdown: Approximately half of SMEs where turnover was adversely affected bu the crisi believe that any return to business as usual will be an arduous process after lockdown. The other half predict a quick return to normal levels of business, but most believe that they will not be able to make up the losses sustained during lockdown. On the positive side, SMEs are mor confident about the future than in April 2020, date of the last Bpifrance Le Lab quarterly survey, a sign that recovery is definitely underway.
-15%: average growth in turnover expected for the current year, after +3% year ago for 2019
41%: share of SMEs planning CAPEX this year, down 9 points over one year
51%: share of SMEs that applied for a state-guaranteed loan, a further 12% plan to do so in the next few months
49%: share of SMEs that believe their cash resources are sufficient to cope with the crisis, 39 report cash flow issues, but manageable
53%: share of SMEs anticipating a problematic return to business as usual post-lockdown, this figure was 63% in april
59%: share of SMEs that, in mid-june, reckoned most of their loan was still available for use
Contents of the survey
- REVENUE AND EMPLOYMENT
- FINANCIAL SITUATION, ACCESS TO CREDIT AND CAPITAL EXPENDITURE
- OUTLOCK FOR 2021