A study by the Malta Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises in collaboration with Misco, a local knowledge-based consulting firm, showed that 60 per cent of SMEs improved their total turnover in 2022 compared to 2021. Meanwhile, 22 per cent said their turnover was unchanged and 17 per cent said it got worse.
The business performance survey was done as part of the SME Barometer® and was carried out between the 12th and 27th of January 2023 amongst 237 business owners.
The SME Barometer® is a project by the Malta Chamber of SMEs with Misco launched in 2023, and was established as an indicator of the state of businesses in Malta. It presents quarterly surveys which give insights through scientific data on economic trends, business sentiment and state of enterprises.
The main reasons sales improved during 2022 were due to the ”end of COVID-19 restriction”, “more stability compared to 2021” and “more consumer confidence” among other reasons.
According to the business performance survey, 39 per cent of the businesses reported that 2022 that it was either close to or worse from pre-COVID-19 levels of performance.
When asked what businesses' biggest concerns were for 2023, they said that they were primarily worried about the rise in costs of goods, labour costs, labour shortage and the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They also mentioned concerns about energy prices in the event that subsidies are stopped.
The Government is currently subsidising energy prices by spending up to 10 per cent of its expenditure in 2023, to keep them stable. Over €600 million was allocated from the national budget to achieve this.
Referring to their plans for 2023, 29 per cent of the businesses replied that they do not intend to make any changes, while 21 per cent replied that they intend to expand their business operations in Malta.
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This subsidy was extended from previous years, initially granted due to price hikes caused by Russia-Ukraine war