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Fewer than 1 in 4 small businesses rely on Christmas as a peak trading period

by OnDeck Australia,   Dec 06, 2023


Fewer than 1 in 4 small businesses rely on Christmas as a peak trading period


Small business lender OnDeck Australia debunks the myth Christmas is a sales bonanza for small enterprises and offers 5 tips for small businesses to navigate seasonal cashflow challenges.


  • Less than one in four (22%) small businesses say Christmas is a peak revenue period.
  • Only one in two (49%) small retailers say the festive season is a leading sales period.
  • For small businesses in non-retail sectors, Christmas can bring increased costs and reduced revenue through industry shutdowns.
  • OnDeck’s unsecured Lightning Loans can help small businesses navigate what can often be a challenging season for cashflow.
  • OnDeck offers 5 cashflow tips for small businesses to navigate the holiday season.


Research by leading small business lender OnDeck Australia has dispelled the myth that the festive season is a sales bonanza for the nation’s small businesses.


Among 500 small businesses surveyed by OnDeck, just one in five (22%) said Christmas is a peak revenue period.


Drilling down further into OnDeck’s findings, only one in two (49%) small retailers point to the festive period as a critical sales period.


Mr Cameron Poolman, CEO of OnDeck Australia, said, “It is a testimony to the strength and resilience of small business in Australia that the majority of small enterprises don’t rely on Christmas as a make-or-break sales event.


“Undoubtedly, the festive season can be a leading sales period for some small businesses. However, it has the potential to bring significant challenges to others, especially those businesses operating in industries such as construction that often shutdown completely over the holiday period.


“This can bring the potential for a rapid upswing in annual leave expenses at a time of slowed or completely halted business activities.”


OnDeck’s research identified that across all sectors, almost one in five (18%) small businesses start preparing for the festive season three months out from December 25.


“Unless a business can recoup these costs through increased Christmas revenue, the end of the year can present a serious cashflow squeeze to a small business,” said Mr Poolman.


With only weeks left until Christmas and the New year holiday period, small businesses need access to finance now – and that calls for rapid funding decisions.


As an online, small business specialist lender, OnDeck provides a simple, streamlined application process, with funds available in as little as two hours through OnDeck’s unsecured Lightning Loan® product, available for up to $175,000 in funding and as low as $10,000 for smaller capital needs*.


5 tips for small businesses to navigate the holiday season


Cameron Poolman suggests five ways small businesses can maximise the festive season’s trading potential and minimise the costs:


1. Leverage rapid finance to tap into discounted trading stock

Small retailers may be able to secure discounted trading stock by offering faster or upfront payment terms to suppliers. Timely access to funding can give small business retailers the cashflow needed to leverage discounts or special offers from suppliers.


2. Bolster online capabilities

As more Australians head online for purchases, now is the time to invest in your enterprise’s website and e-commerce capabilities. It gives a small business an opportunity to compete with larger businesses. Consider if additional funding could be the key to upgrading your IT systems and security while taking advantage of possible end-of-year discounts on IT hardware.


3. Start recruiting early

Faced with a tight labour market, small businesses that need to hire additional staff for the festive season should have their recruitment efforts underway as soon as possible. This is especially the case if permanent team members have requested leave over the Christmas period.


4. Enjoy some ‘me’ time

Previous OnDeck research has highlighted that small business owners rarely enjoy a break even over Christmas. Yet taking a break allows business owners a valuable opportunity to recharge and rejuvenate. With the right funding, businesses can hire a locum or temporary staff, giving business owners a valuable opportunity to unwind ahead of the New Year.


5. Look for turbo-charged funding solutions

Christmas is almost upon us and small businesses need to act fast to manage cashflow. OnDeck’s unsecured Lightning Loans® are available from as low as $10,000 for smaller cash flow needs, up to $175,000*, with funds available as fast as two hours to approved applicants^. It can offer a fast, efficient source of funding to maintain a prosperous cashflow this Christmas.



Mr Poolman said, “With only weeks remaining until Christmas, small businesses have a narrow window of opportunity to access fast, effective finance that can be the make or break factor to navigate the busy weeks ahead.


“It may be the silly season but smart use of commercial lending can be the factor that helps small businesses manage the holiday period, and set out on the path for success in the New Year,” concluded Mr Poolman.


About OnDeck


OnDeck Australia is the proven leader in transparent and responsible online lending to small business. Since launching in Australia in 2015, OnDeck Australia’s focus has always been on supporting small businesses with access to fast, efficient unsecured finance.


Today, OnDeck Australia offers a wide range of term loans customised for small business owners’ needs. OnDeck Australia is focused on taking the friction out of business lending offering unsecured business loans from $10,000 – $250,000 across 6 – 24-month terms*. We’ve helped thousands of small businesses across a range of industries access funding quickly and easily, while maintaining a 5-star TrustPilot rating.


In 2021, OnDeck Australia launched The KOALA Score risk-prediction model that draws on big data, predictive analytics, plus data from multiple credit reporting agencies to enable more Australian small businesses to be approved for a commercial loan.


In 2021, OnDeck Australia also launched Lightning Loans®, which enables the quick decisioning of loans from $10,000 to $175,000* in as fast as 30 minutes, and funding in as fast as two hours^. For more information, visit


About the Research


The independent research was conducted online in October 2023 by Octopus Group across more than 500 small business owners Australia-wide.


Important information from OnDeck:

* Loan amounts and loan terms are for illustrative purposes only, which the lender may adjust in its sole discretion without notice. Eligibility and approval are subject to a standard credit assessment and the applicants’ business circumstances which may include information such as industry, time in business, estimated revenue and other data. Not all loan amounts, term lengths or rates will be available to all applicants. Loans are subject to lender approval. Fees, terms and conditions apply.

^The timeframe required to process and fund loan applications may vary for each individual application. Factors such as the completeness and accuracy of application materials, verification processes, and external circumstances can influence the processing & funding timelines.

On Deck Capital Australia Pty Ltd ABN 28 603 753 215. OnDeck® is a Registered Trademark. All rights reserved. Please read our: Privacy Policy,




Media Contacts:

Anthony O’Brien

Corpwrite Australia

+61 (0) 411 578 818


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