SA SMEs Expect 2017 To Be A Good Year

More than three-quarters of South African small and medium enterprises (SME) owners believe that 2017 will yield greater growth for their businesses than 2016.

This is according to the fourth quarter 2016 Business Partners Limited SME Index, which surveyed the attitude and confidence levels of South African SME owners across various sectors of the economy.

The survey found 77 per cent of South African small business owners expect 2017 to be a good year, while for the first time in about two years all seven of the survey’s broader confidence indicators reported improvements compared to both the previous quarter and the same period in 2015.

In 2016, the private sector, and particularly the SME sector, experienced how political uncertainty and noise can negatively impact an already struggling economy, said Ben Bierman, managing director of Business Partners.

Political uncertainty however stabilised somewhat towards the end of 2016 and the country narrowly escaped a ratings downgrade. This, coupled with various positive economic prospects in the current environment – such as good rainfall and improved commodity prices – has improved SMEs’ confidence for business growth in the year ahead. 

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