Sole Traders Optimistic Business Will Improve, Despite Covid-19 Restrictions – RNZ

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Ongoing Covid-19-related restrictions are taking a toll on sole traders’ economic outlook, but they are much more positive about their business.

Businesswoman with chart arrows on wall. Financial growth concept

Photo: 123rf

The Sole Trader Pulse report by fintech software company Hnry indicates 15 percent of sole traders rate economic conditions as good or very good, a drop from 19 percent six months ago.

Regions that experienced the most stringent Covid-19 lockdown conditions, such as Auckland, were more downbeat.

Some 41 percent of Auckland’s sole traders rated current economic conditions to be poor or very poor, compared with 30 percent in Wellington and 37 percent in Canterbury.

However, there was a big increase in the number of sole traders expecting to see their business improve.

“Despite the difficult economic conditions, sole traders are actually reporting higher levels of personal satisfaction from being self-employed,” Hnry chief executive James Fuller said, adding over 55 percent of respondents reported good or very good levels of personal satisfaction.

“And even financial performance was looking quite good.”

Nearly a third described the financial performance of their business over the last quarter as good or very good, with a further 40 percent expecting an improvement over the next year.

While there had been a drop in feelings of wellbeing over the past six months, sole traders were reporting a higher level of personal satisfaction from running their own business.

However, 44 percent disagreed with the government’s handling of the pandemic, over the past three months.

Most sole traders wanted less red tape and more government support or funding.

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