KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Small businesses in Singapore grew less strongly than their counterparts in South-east Asia, despite growing at their strongest pace in three years in 2018 and outperforming other developed economies like Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Taiwan.
According to CPA Australia's 10th annual Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey, 58.7 per cent of small businesses in Singapore grew from 2017 to 2018, the best result since 2015.
However, this was much lower than the growth rates of small businesses in Malaysia (65.5 per cent) and Indonesia (86.6 per cent).
The survey gathered data from over 3,000 small business operators in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, the Philippines, Taiwan, New Zealand and Mainland China.
Despite challenging global economic conditions, 60.7 per cent of Singapore-based small businesses are expected to grow this year.
On the other hand, increasing costs remain one of the biggest challenges faced by the island republic’s small businesses, with 45.9 per cent stating that increasing costs had a major negative impact on their business.
CPA Australia manager of Business and Investment, Gavan Ord said a stronger focus on online sales would be beneficial for Singapore's small businesses, as the survey showed a strong link between this and business growth.
Another challenge is the relatively difficult financing facing the sector.
“In Budget 2019, the Singapore Government introduced measures to support small businesses to develop their digital capability and enhance the skills of their workforce,” said CPA Australia, Singapore Divisional President, Chng Lay Chew. — Bernama