Coping with the exceptional economic problems in Turkey: a field survey on SMEs
Developing countries need higher economic growth to reach the level of developed countries. When developing countries exceed the potential economic growth, problems, such as, high external debt and high current deficit emerge. Such situations increase the financial risk of the country; in addition, international political risks, fluctuations in capital inflows and some manipulative movements have subjected countries to extreme exchange rate fluctuations. Purposes of this research: (1) to uncover the impact of high exchange rate volatility on small business activities and (2) to determine whether the level of exposure of the exchange rate shock on business owners varies by age. The methodology of the study involved a survey administered to 390 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The findings of the study show that after a period of significant exchange rate fluctuations, business activities were negatively affected, sales decreased, and job cuts increased. On the other hand, the exchange rate effect was mostly felt by all business owners of different ages. According to the study, it can be concluded that small enterprises are vulnerable to rising exchange rate volatility. The effect on SMEs with more work experience is not different. In order to alleviate the effects of adverse exchange rate movements, enterprises should be more cautious in their activities. Two suggestions can be made at this point: (i) Governments should follow optimal growth policies and (ii) Small businesses that have an important place in the economy should be made aware of the exchange rate risk and crisis management.
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