According to a recent survey conducted by the Chamber of SMEs in Malta, a significant number of small business owners in the country hold a pessimistic view regarding the nation’s current trajectory.
The survey, which garnered 423 responses from businesses employing up to 250 people, was conducted through an online platform by MISCO between October 11 and October 20.
The results indicate that 80% of respondents believe that Malta is moving in the wrong direction, marking a notable increase of 16 percentage points since the same question was asked in the second quarter of the year.
Among the top concerns expressed by the survey respondents, employee shortages ranked as the most pressing issue, followed closely by increasing inflation and unfair competition.
When questioned about the most critical issues facing the country that the government should address, nearly 40% of business owners cited corruption levels and the lack of good governance as their primary concerns.
The survey also revealed that concerns about overpopulation were closely linked to perceived abuses within the system.
The survey results pointed to a prevailing sense of uncertainty within the country, which is discouraging business owners from making further investments.
Nearly 60% of respondents expressed uncertainty about the prospects for investment in the coming year, with 35% believing that the environment for investment will remain unfavourable.
Only slightly more than 15% of businesses indicated their willingness to expand their investments.