One in four SMEs still don't know when their doors will open again

One in four local retailers and hospitality firms still don’t know if or when they’ll be opening their doors again after closing for lockdown, according to new research carried out among the to SME owners.

Across all sectors a total of 35 per cent of all SMEs said they had to shut down during the Covid-19 lockdown. With 17 per cent of these admitted they were unsure when they would be able to get back to work.

The survey showed that the figures we fairly similar across most industry sectors, but the retail and hospitality sectors was definitely they worst hit, with 24 per cent saying they didn’t know when they would be up and running again. This is why the SME club has been focussed on our campaign to #saveourshops as the sector and communities have been decimated by the lockdown.

For many UK’s SMES it could take years to recover from, according to the first Small Business Monitor from WorkLife, the new employee benefits service from online money manager OpenMoney.

Rob Marshall, managing director of WorkLife, believes that companies and employees need help to get back on their feet. He says: “We’ve all seen our high streets devastated during lockdown with shuttered shops, pubs and restaurants. The likelihood is that many won’t reopen.

“But for those that can reopen, as our Small Business Monitor shows, the worst is far from over. Income has reduced, while the changes needed to operate under social distancing rules are likely to push up their costs even further. This is a massive strain on everybody working there.”

To support both UK SMEs and their employees, WorkLife is offering its newly launched employee benefits service at no cost to companies for the rest of the year. One of the key elements of WorkLife is a free financial advice service for all employees, provided by OpenMoney. 

Marshall explains: “As our research shows, the current situation is bad news for bosses and terrible news for their employees, many of whom will already be worried about job security and their personal financial situation. But with WorkLife, there is a real opportunity for employers to provide their workers with the help they need during what is clearly going to be a difficult period of recovery and return to work. And it won’t cost companies a penny for the rest of 2020.”

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