The AFR reported that almost one in three businesses say their cash on hand would allow them to survive less than three months.
A June survey on business impacts of COVID-19 shows that two-thirds of companies experienced a revenue decline compared with the same period last year and only 8 per cent reported an income rise.
More than 80 per cent of businesses in education and training, accommodation and food services, media and telecommunications, and arts and recreation posted a revenue fall.
Some 26 per cent of businesses suffered a revenue fall of up to 25 per cent; 37 per cent lost 25-50 per cent; 17 per cent posted a 50-75 per cent plunge; and 14 per cent had more than 75 per cent of their revenue wiped out.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics business impacts of COVID-19 survey of 2000 businesses between June 10 and 17 provides a snapshot of how the virus is affecting companies.
The survey was taken as governments gradually lift business restrictions and physical distancing rules.
Some 30 per cent of small businesses said their cash on hand would only support business operations for less than three months, compared with 24 per cent of medium-sized businesses and 12 per cent of large businesses.
Many businesses (60 per cent) are seeking external advice in response to COVID-19.
“This external advice was most likely to be obtained from organisations including banks, lawyers or accountants (81 per cent) and also federal government agencies (64 per cent),” ABS head of industry statistics John Shepherd said.
Firms in struggling sectors such as healthcare, arts and recreational services, and education and training were the most likely to have sought external advice in response to the virus.
Businesses were asked to estimate the length of time that, under current conditions, operations could be supported by the available cash on hand.
“Several businesses commented that existing cash on hand would not be sufficient to maintain operations if not for government support measures,” the ABS said.