UK SMEs Still Struggling To Bounce Back After Covid-19 Lockdown


There has been a noticeable difference in the number of SMEs struggling to bounce back after the lockdown, compared to those that are thriving.

64% of SMEs are concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on their employees, with 57% being concerned about their productivity, figures from Sage’s SME Sentiment Index found.

Among the surveyed sectors, it found that media, motor, technology and beauty sectors are the most likely to have made staff redundancies since reopening.

64% say that a second spike would have a severely negative impact or spell the end of their company, whilst only 20% say it would have minimal impact.

Wales reported the largest lack of confidence, with 49% of SMEs saying they are not confident about being able to absorb a 20% decline in revenue.

The report also shows that despite some sector’s resilience during the pandemic, such as transport and logistics, they remain unprepared for growth. It shows that only slightly more than half of businesses believe they are resilient and prepared for future shocks.

“SMEs are a source of much innovation in our economy and we are now in a period where reinvention is an essential part of the recovery process, with digital leading the way,” Richard Hutton, finance director at Greggs said in the report.

“SMEs are ideally placed to drive this but we must help them, and other healthy businesses, to weather the current storm.”

Such businesses demand support from the government and larger businesses in order to get back on their feet, and their adoption of technology is a significant method that can be used to boost their resilience.

40% of SMEs believe that a government grant to support investment in technology is highly likely to increase the future of hiring, more than investment in retraining or an apprenticeship levy.

UK SMEs created 73% of all jobs following the financial crisis in 2010, with the number of SMEs growing by 23%. This shows significant potential in the future of SMEs growth with the right support in place.

Find out more about government support, such as its COVID-19 support package for startups.


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