Lodging small businesses in the Middle East and Africa have consistently outperformed larger businesses in 2021 as people traveled locally.
This, according to MasterCard’s Recovery Insights: Small Business Reset report which looked at 19 markets around the world, reveals that sales at small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) lagged larger companies by up to 20 percentage points at the peak of the crisis.
However, spending has recovered in 2021 with total sales at SMBs rose 4.5 per cent through August 2021 year-to-date compared to the same period in 2020, while e-commerce sales are up 31.4 per cent.
According to Bricklin Dwyer, Mastercard Chief Economist and Head of the Mastercard Economics Institute, supporting neighborhood businesses has been a rallying point throughout the pandemic.
“However, the challenges faced have been very real, due to their dependency on local markets, local supply chains and tighter cash flows,” he said.
He reveals that they however see brighter opportunities ahead.
“The shift to digital opened the door to the pandemic’s silver lining: a resurgence of entrepreneurship and innovation.”
Supporting small business owners is a continued priority for Mastercard, which pledged to bring 50 million small businesses and 25 million women entrepreneurs into the digital economy by 2025.
Mastercard’s Digital Doors curriculum helps businesses get online and stay protected, ensuring they have the right tools to maximize their digital presence and integrate e-commerce seamlessly, including the free Small Business Digital Readiness Diagnostic.
Most recently, Mastercard committed $25 million to help more than five million micro and SMBs digitize through the Strive initiative.
Mastercard also works closely with governments, businesses and other organizations around the world to create environments, programs and policies so small businesses can flourish.
Mastercard provides high-frequency, local spending insights to dozens of city, state and federal governments as part of our City Possible and Recovery Insights programs, as well as content such as the recent policy paper addressing ways governments can support SMB recovery.
You can view the full Recovery Insights: Small Business Reset here.