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Finance and insurance took a huge hit due to the pandemic, with an average of 71.95 deaths for every 100 business births in the industry. This was 50% higher than the pre-COVID period, when there were roughly 48.01 business deaths for every 100 births.

This was surpassed only by the information and communication industry. Pre-pandemic, for every 100 businesses born in the industry, 91.51 businesses died. Due to COIVUD-19, this number increased by 89%, with 173.24 business deaths for 100 new ones.

On the flip side, the wholesale industry prospered. Pre-pandemic, for every 100 wholesale businesses born, 101.5 businesses died. This figure decreased by 20% post-pandemic, where in the last eight business quarters, only 81.44 businesses died for every 100 wholesale businesses born. 

Retail businesses also fared relatively well. Pre-pandemic, there were on average 79.75 business deaths for every 100 business births. Post-pandemic, business deaths decreased by 12%, with roughly 69.94 businesses dying for every 100 births since the second quarter of 2020.

For the pre-pandemic national average, 86.58 businesses died for every 100 that were born. Post-pandemic, this number increased by 16%, with roughly 100.67 businesses dying for every 100 new businesses.

“This data shows how much more difficult it has become to survive as a business since the pandemic,” said Ritchie Mehta, CEO of School of Marketing. “In the two years before the impact of COVID-19, on average, more businesses were created than closed each quarter. But now the numbers of company births and deaths are basically equal. As entrepreneurs look to protect themselves against a harsher business environment, the value of skilled employees has never been higher. Therefore, SMEs can take advantage of initiatives such as the Apprenticeship Levy scheme to bring in new staff or train current ones in digital and data-led programmes, with the vast majority of the training cost covered by the levy.”


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