According to the 2022 State of Small Business report from Meta, a survey of nearly 24,000 small and medium-sized business leaders across 30 countries and territories, conducted in January 2022, 20 percent of businesses surveyed globally reported being closed. This is 3 percentage points higher compared to July 2021. It represents a small increase compared to previous fluctuations since Meta started surveying global SMBs in 2020 and may reflect the impact of the Omicron wave in the region.
SMBs in Vietnam: There have been many signs of improvement
Omicron wave has disrupted small business recovery in Vietnam, 75% of SMBs using the Facebook platform reported that they were operational or engaging in any revenue-generating activities, which decreased by 5% compared to September 2021. However, for a small subset of businesses that remained open, sales were starting to improve, 23% of operational SMBs using the Facebook platform reported that their sales in the past month were higher than the same month last year, (increased by 6%), while 67% reported their sales were lower (decreased by 9% compared to the last September).
Concerns about cash flow as well as market demand have also improved compared to 6 months ago. 32% of operational SMBs using the Facebook platform expected challenges related to cash flow and 42% expected challenges related to a lack of demand in the next few months, which decreased by about one-third.
The number of SMEs having to reduce the size of their workforce as a result of the pandemic reduced by 9% compared to September 2021 to 44%. Besides, 55% of operational SMBs using the Facebook platform said they were confident in their ability to continue operating for at least 12 months if current circumstances were to continue, nearly double the survey in September 2021.
Many businesses are finding success online. In Vietnam, 59% of operational SMBs using the Facebook platform reported making at least 25% of their sales digitally in the past month.
In addition to the efforts of Vietnamese SMBs to overcome difficulties, significant improvement in the business situation and economic recovery has been achieved through the cooperation of relevant agencies. 9% of operational SMBs using the Facebook platform said they have received financial assistance in the form of a cash grant or loan from a government source since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has made hybrid working the new norm
The survey showed that SMBs are increasingly focused on returning to physical spaces, while also maintaining digital operations. Approximately 25% of SMBs surveyed globally currently operate a digital-only business, whereas only 10% intend to run digital-only business operations once the pandemic ends. In contrast, 39% intend to use mostly or only in-person business operations, a rise of 8 percentage points since July 2021.
The majority of SMBs intend to use digital and physical operations together, with approximately 69% of SMBs planning to do so. Similarly, 40% of SMBs expect hybrid working to be necessary for the future, with this proportion increasing for larger SMBs relative to smaller firms.
“It’s encouraging to see that businesses in the region are on a steady path to recovery despite the challenges. As SMBs transition to a hybrid retail world, we will continue to work on providing them with the tools and enablers they need to succeed,” said Mr. Khoi Le, Country Manager, Vietnam at Meta