Business
CARIB | Oct 19, 2020

40% of Caribbean businesses struggling to pay bills – Digicel 

/ Our Today

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Fifty per cent of the businesses surveyed pointed to difficulties receiving payments from customers.

 

By Durrant Pate

A recent survey commissioned by regional telecoms giant, Digicel has found that as much as 40 per cent of businesses surveyed across the region are struggling to pay their bills.

At the same time, 50 per cent  of the businesses surveyed, which are located in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, pointed to difficulties receiving payments from customers. The COVID-19 Business Impact Study by Digicel highlighted the fact that businesses must adapt to address the financial and operational challenges resulting from COVID-19.

According to the survey, “27 per cent of businesses in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago are bracing for the economic fallout from COVID-19 to continue for at least another 24 months.”

The survey revealed some reticence in businesses moving data to the Cloud, as only 26 per cent of the companies surveyed highlighted that as a key priority in their future strategy.

The survey also found that 59 per cent of the businesses surveyed highlighted that they are most concerned with the Caribbean as a travel destination, given COVID-19 and restrictions in travel and gathering.

Fifty-one per cent cited their concerns with supply chain disruptions in the Caribbean caused by COVID-19. The survey pointed to some key concerns being encountered by regional businesses with the primary area of challenge being digital risks/cyber security.

Forty-eight per cent of those surveyed identified digital risks/cyber security as their main area of concern. Workforce productivity due to working remotely was the next highest area of concern with 32 per cent followed by technology system resilience issues with 30 per cent.

Seventy six per cent of the companies surveyed reported a negative impact of the pandemic on their turnover. More than a quarter of the surveyed entities experienced a 50 per cent hit on their revenue this year.

The survey revealed some reticence in businesses moving data to the Cloud, as only 26 per cent of the companies surveyed highlighted that as a key priority in their future strategy. However, 28 per cent of business did not believe that they currently have the requisite technology to operate their business remotely.

As much as 40 per cent of those surveyed believe that the worst of the impact of COVID-19 is still ahead, while most believe that it will take up to 12 months for things to become normalised. Fifty-nine per cent of those surveyed believed in this, while 27 per cent believe that it could take between 1-2 years for things to become normal again.

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