The Xero Small Business Insights (SBI) data for September reveals an uptick in small business jobs and year-on-year revenue growth in New Zealand.

Nationwide, the average number of jobs in the small business sector rose by 0.9% after falling in August by 1.4%. Small business employment is now sitting at 1.8% below pre-crisis levels. 

Overall, small business revenue in New Zealand was up 3.4% year-on-year in September 2020.

During Auckland’s Alert Level 3 lockdown, small business jobs in the city dropped by 1.7%. The recovery began in September spurred by 3.1% revenue growth compared to September 2019.


Queenstown revenue still down despite local tourism  

Overall, small business revenue in NZ was up 3.4% year-on-year in September 2020. With the exception of Queenstown (and Otago), all regions across Aotearoa saw a rise in revenues year-on-year including Northland (10.7%), Canterbury (7.1%), Wellington (5.4%), and Waikato (3.7%). 

Most industries recorded positive revenue growth in September with manufacturing up 11% year-on-year, followed by improvement in construction (9%), retail trade (8%) and real estate (6%).

Hospitality remains the most impacted industry, posting a -7% year-on-year decrease in September, although this is an improvement on August revenue results, which were down 9%. 


Payment times stabilise 

The average time it takes for small businesses to get paid appears to have stabilised at a rate slightly faster than pre-COVID (25.1 days). This suggests Kiwis are making an effort to settle invoices and pay bills on time to support suppliers. 


Job recovery varying across the regions

Nationwide, the average number of jobs in the small business sector rose 0.9% in September after falling in August and are now sitting at just 1.8% below pre-crisis levels. 

Across the regions, jobs were up compared to March 2020, in Wellington (3.9%), Hawke’s Bay (3.0%) and Canterbury (2.2%), while the rest of the country reported jobs still below March 2020 levels including Northland (-7.9%), Queenstown (-6.1%), Waikato (-3.0%) and Auckland (-2.8%). 

Hospitality jobs remain the hardest hit with employment figures down 10.8% on the first week of March pre-crisis figures. 

To see more insights about this month’s data, please see our September update, and if you’d like to see comparative insights across Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, please see our XSBI website.