The ACCA and the Corporate Finance Network (CFN) have joined forces to set up atracker poll among accountancy firms, who together represent over 22,000 UK SMEs, to measure how these small businesses are coping with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
The latest results paint a tough reality for so many small business owners with stress, anxiety and fear of bankruptcy all rising. Now, 83 per cent of UK SME owners said they are stressed and anxious compared to only69 per cent a month ago; 33 per cent are not sleeping compared to 17 per cent a month ago; and 18 per cent feel unable to cope compared to eight per cent a month ago.
The impact of this devastating crisis were made all too clear when ACCA spoke to the Forgotten Ltd campaign, which has been trying to support SME limited company directors.
Many of these micro-businesses are vital cogs in the economy and life lines for thousands of families and individuals across the UK.
Gina Broadhurst, co-founder of Forgotten Ltd, said: “We represent two million companies employing 7.5m people. We are not fat cats or multi-millionaires. We don’t want special treatment. We want parity with everybody else. We need the political will to change, to save businesses and jobs. This is taking a heavy toll on people’s mental health.”
ACCA is leading the #LeaveNoBusinessBehind campaign, using their network of professional accountants to offer bitesize training videos and written resources to help UK SMEs plan and reforecast financially. ACCA also has an Memorandum of Understanding with the International Chamber of Commerce and supports its Save Our SMEs campaign.
As the SME club has been stating for months, there is a clear need for greater government support for the left behind and ongoing support for SMEs. It is great to see that ACCA is joining the cause, and hopefully this will help the government to listen.