The extent of the challenge faced by the UK’s small business and SME owners, in recovering from the COVID crisis, has been revealed by recent research published by Amaiz the business banking app, today.
The research to UK SME owners highlighted that 10% of small businesses reported that they had lost all of their business as a direct result of the lockdown and a third said they believed that the pandemic had been ‘very damaging’ to their business long term. However, the research did show that most UK SMEs are pretty optimistic about the future with 59% believing it will take less than 6 months to return to the previous levels of trade and hopefully. a full recovery to their business.
Although it is only 1 in 10 UK SMEs that have lost all their business, the results show that most small businesses in the UK are reporting significant losses: over a third of businesses surveyed have lost more than 30% of revenue and nearly half have lost over 20% of total revenue.
This is being compounded by their struggle to get payment from their customers, with nearly 31% saying they have struggled to get paid during the crisis and a quarter (saying they have found it difficult to pay suppliers because of this causing a slow down in payment across business supply chains.
Matt Goddard, Head of Acquisitions for Amaiz said, “Small business is the lifeblood of the UK economy. FSB figures show that in 2019 UK SMEs accounted for three fifths of employment and around half of turnover in the UK private sector. It is tragic, but not unexpected, to hear that small businesses have suffered so badly during the pandemic.”
While a small majority of businesses (59%) believe that it will take them less than 6 months to get to previous levels of turnover, a quarter believe it will take at least a year to recover from the impact of the pandemic and just under 5% believe that they will never recover.
The Amaiz banking app was launched in March 2020, just before the pandemic, and helps small businesses by combining banking with bookkeeping. The premium account is available at £9.99 per month. However, there is a free version that charges just 20p per outgoing transaction.
“As the Government announces the easing of lockdown, we hope that they will listen to the needs of small business.
“Of course, lives cannot and should not be put at risk, however as with the reduction of social distancing from two metres to one, small changes can be made that will have a disproportionate impact on whether a small business can operate or has to close for good.
“It is a critical time for many small businesses. At Amaiz we will do all we can to help. We hope the Government does the same.”