As governments seek to understand the economic toll the coronavirus is taking on their countries and citizens, we need to gauge the impact on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to ensure that policy measures are appropriately designed to meet their needs. Gauging the impact on SMEs is particularly challenging because these enterprises are plentiful in number but small in size. To better understand the toll, Xiaobo Zhang—a CGD visiting fellow as well as a Peking University professor and an IFPRI senior research fellow—led a nationwide SME survey in China following the coronavirus outbreak. You can read the results here and here.
Zhang’s survey generated interest for similar survey designs in Mexico and France. In the interest of promoting further efforts in other countries, we are publishing the original Chinese-language survey, English- and Spanish-language versions, and a technical note from Zhang about the details of the survey in China. The Chinese version and English translation reflect the version administered as part of the Enterprise Survey for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in China (ESIEC) led by Peking University. The Spanish-language version was produced by the Global Economic Intelligence Unit of the Ministry of Economy of Mexico and reflects the adaptation to the Mexican context. The French-language version is forthcoming and will be produced by the Paris Institute for Advanced Studies.
The English translation is available below, as well as links to download a PDF of the survey in three languages. For any questions, suggestions, or opportunities to collaborate reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ESIEC2020 Questionnaire on the Resilience of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises under the New Coronavirus Outbreak (Covid-19)
In the face of the sudden outbreak of the coronavirus, we are all concerned about the current business status and needs of entrepreneurs. We hope that through research and accurate information we can better advocate for businesses.
This project is for scientific research purposes only; the information and data are strictly confidential; and all commercial use is prohibited. It takes approximately 10 minutes to complete this questionnaire. We will publish only aggregated, anonymous results. This survey complies with the General Data Protection Regulation.
For your information, the survey was initiated by the Alliance of Enterprise Survey for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in China led by Peking University, to evaluate the impact on the Chinese economy.
Your contribution is important. Thank you for your support!
1. Was your business in operation as of February 10?
Go to 3
Go to 2
2. What is the expected time for the company's business recovery?
(a) Within 2 weeks (b) 1 month (c) 1 month to 3 months (d) more than 3 months (e) Inability to judge
Go to 4
3.Because of the epidemic, what is the percentage of your company's employees who are unable to come to work at present?
(a) 0% (b) 1-10% (c) 11-20% (d) 21-30% (e) More than 30% (f) Unable to judge
Go to 4
4. Please choose the most significant financial problems for your company during the outbreak (up to two options).
(a) Staff wages and social security charges (b) Rent (c) Repayment of loans (d) Payments of invoices (e) Other expenses (f) No specific problem
Go to 5
5. Is your company currently considering layoffs, or has already done some because of the epidemic?
Go to 5.1
Go to 6
(c) Not applicable
Go to 6
5.1 What percentage of staff are you expecting to (or have already) cut?
(a) 0% (b) 1-10% (c) 11-20% (d) 21-30% (e) Over 30%
6. How long can your company's current cash flow maintain the company's operation?
(a) Less than 1 month (b) 1-3 months (c) 4-5 months (d) 6 months or more
7. What is the main means you are considering to deal with the cash flow shortage? (Up to two options)
(a) Loans by commercial banks (b) Loans by Internet finance (c) Loans by microfinance companies or private individuals (d) Negotiating with lenders to avoid withdrawing loans (e) Equity financing (adding new shareholders or capital increase of former shareholders) (f) Reduction of operating costs (e.g. layoffs and salary reductions) (g) No cash flow shortfalls problem (h) Other (open) ______
8. What is the main means you are considering to deal with the shortage of workers? (Up to two options)
(a) Wage increases (b) Use of advanced equipment or software to reduce the amount of work (c) Outsourcing of orders (d) Delay in delivery (e) No shortage of workers (h) Other ______
9. What is the main means you are currently considering to deal with the shortage of raw materials? (Up to two options)
(a) Reduction of production (b) Outsourcing orders (c) Increasing the procurement prices (d) Seeking new procurement channels (e) Delaying goods delivery (f) No shortage of raw materials (g) Other ______
10. What is the main means you are currently considering to deal with difficulties in fulfilling contracts? (Up to two options)
(a) Settlement by mutual agreement (b) Legal or arbitral settlement (c) Expect the government to coordinate and provide clear disclaimer agreements (d) Payment of liquidated damages (e) No contractual performance issues (f) Other ______
11. Are there any other business problems your company is facing due to the epidemic? (Up to two options)
(a) Reduction of orders (b) Inability to deliver existing orders (c) Increased difficulty of financing (d) Existing loans cannot be extended (e) Disruption of logistics (f) Upstream and downstream chain disruptions (g) Insufficient protective equipment (e.g., masks) (h) Other ______
12 In the face of the impact of the epidemic, governments at all levels and financial institutions have announced relief measures. Which policy do you believe is the most effective for your company? (Up to two options)
(a) Reduce rent for small and medium-sized enterprises and lower costs for electricity, gas, logistics, etc. (b) Reduction of tax rates, reduction or deferral of taxes (c) Reduction of financing costs for SMEs, extension of loan terms or partial debt relief (d) Temporary reduction of social insurance premiums and reimbursement of unemployment insurance to enterprises that do not lay off staff (e) Optimization of exporting tax rebate services (f) Provide fast-track "force majeure" certification to avoid contract breaches (g) Other ways ______
13 Do you expect your company's total revenue in 2020 compared to 2019 to
(a) Increase by more than 10% (b) Increase, but less than or equal to 10% (c) Be similar to last year (d) Decrease of less than or equal to 10% (e) Decrease of more than 10% (f) Unable to judge
13.1 Do you think most companies in your industry have the same expectation as you?
(a) They have more optimistic expectation (b) They have same expectation (c) They have more pessimistic expectation
14. Can you expect your company's raw materials and total operating costs in 2020 compared to 2019 to
(a) Increase by more than 10 percent (b) Increase, but less than or equal to 10 percent (c) Be similar to last year (d) Decrease by less than 10 percent (e) Decrease by more than 10 percent (f) Unable to judge
14.1 What do you think most of your peers' expectations of raw materials and total operating costs are compared to your own judgment?
(a) More optimistic (b) The same (c) More pessimistic
15. If your company is an export-oriented enterprise, how do you expect the epidemic to affect your company's export volume?
(a) Increase by more than 20% (b) Increase of up to 20% (c) The same (d) Decrease of up to 20% (e) Decrease of more than 20% (f) Inability to judge (g) Not applicable (company has no export business)
16. Please rate your own feelings about novel coronavirus pneumonia on the following scale, from a minimum of zero to a maximum of 10
Anxiety level (not at all anxious to very anxious) [SCORE-0-10] Level of fear (not at all afraid to very afraid) [SCORE-0-10] Level of concern (not at all concerned to very concerned) [SCORE-0-10] Level of optimism (very negative pessimistic to very positive) [SCORE-0-10]
17. What industry is your company is in? (use the drop-down box)
Agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, fisheries Mining industry Manufacturing industry Production and supply of electricity, heat, gas and water Construction industry Wholesale and retail trade Transport, storage and postal industry Accommodation and catering Information transmission, software and information technology services Financial industry Real estate industry Leasing and business services Scientific research and technological services Water, environment and public facilities management Residential services, repair and other services Education. Health and social work Culture, sports and entertainment Other please specify: ______
18. How many employees did your company have at the end of 2019
(a) Less than 10 persons (b) 11-50 persons (c) 51-100 persons (d) 101-500 persons (e) 500 or more persons (f) Not applicable
19. Please tell us your company's total revenue for 2019
(a) Less than $1 million (b) $1-5 million (c) $5.1-10 million (d) $10.1-50 million (e) Greater than $50 million (f) Not applicable
20. Year of establishment of your company (drop down box, 2019, ..., 2000, earlier than 2000)
21. What city or region is your company located in? (drop down box)
22. What is your position in the company?
(a) Chairman of the Board (b) General Manager (c) Director or Deputy General Manager (d) Head of Finance or Accounting (e) Head of Operations (Sales) (f) Technical Director (g) Other: ______
23. What is the full name of your company? (Optional)
24. We would greatly appreciate your participation in a follow up survey in a few months. If you’d like to participate, please leave your contact details (optional, mobile, email or landline number).
25. If you have any comments or suggestions on your own business or the national policy to deal with the epidemic, please feel free to leave them (optional).
Thank you very much for your participation. I wish you the best for your business and for your family, your loved ones, and your employees as well.
CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.