Covid restrictions: impact on SMEs two years on

Seats in a theater.

(01.03.2023) A study conducted by the Geneva School of Business Administration (HEG-GE) shows that the pandemic led to a 14% loss of turnover on average between 2019 and 2020 among SMEs in French-speaking Switzerland. The impact of the restrictions varied, however, depending on their coping strategy.

The study consisted of a survey of 149 SMEs throughout French-speaking Switzerland. All industry sectors were represented: two from agriculture, 57 from industry and construction and 88 from services. According to the Geneva researchers, this breakdown represents each sector's influence on the economic fabric of the region studied.

Furthermore, the hardest hit categories for the decline in turnover between 2019 and 2020 appear to have been in arts and entertainment (-79.67%), administrative and support activities (-44.5%), agriculture, forestry and fishing (-38%), hotels and restaurants (-28.5%) and transport and storage (-21.33%).

The study also found that company traits such as size, age, and sector of activity appear to play only a limited role in the extent to which sales declined during health restrictions.

According to the researchers, telecommuting greatly reduces financial losses for companies that can implement it. For future crises, the study's authors call for effective telecommuting deployment plans.

In addition, it appears that the changes were generally only effective if accompanied by the implementation of telework, and that SMEs that focused on job protection and customer satisfaction were more resilient than those that chose other strategies.


Last modification 01.03.2023

Top of page

News and useful information for founders and entrepreneurs.