Recession is a phenomenon of decreasing demand for raw materials, products and services and its beginning, progress and ending depends on the operational measures used by different researchers and federal agencies (Shama, 1993). It leads to a drop in share market, an increase in unemployment, stagnant wages, a fall in retail sales and a decline in the housing market (Amadeo, 2015). If a recession lasts longer, it can be classified as economic depression. There were worldwide recessions during the years 2007 – 2009 (“The Great Recession”). Large business companies were a bit resilient during this time with government subsidy and grants but, smaller companies which contribute more to the overall employment growth were badly affected (Nanto, 2009).
Smaller businesses suffered huge net employment losses due to sharper cuts in the rate of gross job gains which in turn reflected on slower business creation and a lower rate of hiring among expanding small businesses (Laderman, 2013). Between 2007 and 2012, small businesses experienced disproportionate job losses wherein their overall job losses was double their 30% share of total employment. Also, jobs at small businesses declined about 11% and the payrolls at businesses that had 50 or more employees declined further by 7% (Laderman, 2013). SME’s suffered disproportionately during such economic downturns because of their limited financial resources, their relative shortcomings in technological, managerial and human capabilities and their greater dependence on fewer customers and suppliers which readily reduced their capacity to overcome the economic crisis (Bourletidis & Triantafyllopoulos,
In such a scenario, it becomes imperative to analyse and understand what went wrong for these SME’s and this study will fill that gap with empirical evidence of the losses/impacts suffered by the small firms during the period of recession. Also, the marketing strategies, innovative tactics and new concepts adopted by them in order to survive the Recession will be researched upon. This is done so that the future SME’s can take preventive measures and
be proactive if at all Recession occurs in the future.
The overall aim of this project is to investigate the Recession-related effects on small firms,their responses to tackle that (i.e. their strategies) and the resulting impact on the performance of the firm. More specifically, this study aims to answer the following research questions:
RQ1: How did recession affect the SMEs
RQ2: What were the impacts suffered by SMEs as a result of Recession
RQ3: How did the SMEs respond to the Recession conditions
RQ4: What are the factors that drive the SMEs performance under Recession conditions.