15 Apr 2021
International journal of environmental research and public health;
The subject matter of the article relates to the assessment of the perception of selected types of risk in economic activities of the SME sector, which change their intensity as a result of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current economic downturn is unprecedented and involves many companies and industries that have faced new, previously unknown challenges and threats. The objective of the article is to identify the most important risks and their resources based on the empirical research carried out in small and medium-sized enterprises in Poland. The formulated objective was accomplished using the data collection method, i.e., the survey and reports on the condition of the SME sector in Poland as well as statistical data analysis methods, i.e., structure index and the analysis of variance, using the SPSS system. The process of primary data collection was carried out by means of an electronic survey among selected enterprises of the SME sector, conducting business activities in Poland. In the study, the employment factor was taken into account as a determinant of the perception and assessment of the intensity of selected risks arising from the economic activity in the Polish market in the conditions of the current economic downturn. On the basis of the obtained results, the impact of market, economic, financial and operational risks, depending on their intensity, on the functioning of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises was identified. Based on the analysis of variance, the effect of the size of the company on the level of individual risks was also examined. As a result of the observations made, it was established that, during the pandemic, the level and type of risk is similar in all the surveyed enterprises. They are most often threatened by strong competition in the industry, an increase in energy prices and insufficient profit. The overall results of the empirical research indicate the importance and the need to manage the key threats to the Polish SME sector.