80% of UK SMEs ‘confident’ of recovery from Coronavirus effects

Coronavirus, Management & Growth,

Research conducted by Starling Bank and the Great British Entrepreneur Awards (GBEA) has shown that 80% of UK SMEs are confident that they will recover from the effects of Coronavirus. The survey asked 314 SMEs from a range of sectors about their experiences.

Of businesses asked, 75% said they were more positive than they were a month ago, while 39% have changed their business to minimise the impact of the pandemic. The majority have done so by moving to a digital offering of some kind.

None of these statistics suggest that this has been an easy time for business owners:

  • One in five business owners, 20%, surveyed said they had considered closing the business as a result of Coronavirus.
  • Two thirds, or 63%, have seen a reduction in revenue.
  • 19% have made no profit at all during Lockdown.

Some tough decisions have been made:

  • A third of business owners, 30%, have invested their own funds to keep the business solvent.
  • A similar number, 33%, have had to furlough staff.
  • More than a fifth are not confident of paying their bills each month.

Two thirds of business owners reported their mental health has suffered as a result of the impact of Coronavirus on their business.

The most positive figure was the 68% of business owners who feel they will return to pre-COVID levels or better by 2021.

Anne Boden, founder and chief executive of Starling Bank, said: ‘Small businesses are essential to the nation’s efforts to build back the economy as we emerge from the coronavirus crisis. Despite the challenging conditions they face, it’s heartening to see that many are proving so adaptable and resilient.’

Francesca James, GBEA founder, said: ‘In the face of the disruption caused by Covid-19 and the emergence of a radically altered landscape, I’ve been inspired by the innovation, spirit and tenacity of the entrepreneurs we work with in coping with this unprecedented situation. However, it’s been a deeply troubling time for so many SMEs and they need support now more than ever to create the wealth and jobs that are needed over the next few months.’

Our conversations with clients would support the comments above. Many have found the last few months the hardest since setting up their businesses originally, if not ever. Since release from lockdown though, there is definitely positivity out there! Several are finding cashflow to be strong. Others are finding leads plentiful, though the decision making process is, perhaps understandably, taking time. One Outsourced FD client has signed up a number of new clients as a result of her Lockdown efforts.

If you are feeling less positive, and would like some additional support or advice, please do get in touch. We’d be very happy to help if we can.


As an aside, one of the most innovative ‘pivots’ we’ve seen in recent weeks is a farmer who has been ‘hiring’ goats to make 5 minute appearances in Zoom meetings… yes, really! You can see the website here for a few minutes light relief, though there is a serious message underneath the frivolity.

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