The current state of UK SMEs

According to a recent report in The Business Leader, despite the challenges of the last 18 months including the impact of COVID-19 and Brexit, the majority (55%) of SME business owners aren’t worried about the future of their business, the primary reason being 67% of business owners deemed their businesses currently “stable”. This figure rises to 76% for the oldest group of respondents (aged 55 and over) and to 72% for sole traders.

However, almost half (46%) of those questioned expressed concerns about the future of their business. Unsurprisingly, the Covid-19 pandemic emerged as the main cause for this concern for SMEs and of those, 62% said that their business had suffered as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 57% also said that they are worried about the long-term negative impact(s) of the pandemic.

Others believe that Brexit remains a hugely divisive issue for the SME sector. Some are predicting that a third of small business owners think that the UK will eventually reapply to join the European Union, and a further 1 in 6 believing it will apply to join the Single Market or Customs Union. The conclusion from this would appear to be that many are pessimistic about how Brexit is progressing and expect to see a dramatic U-turn at some point in the future.

Despite this, a clear majority of people not only say that their business is currently ‘stable’ but also they appear not to be worried about the future. This shows just how resilient small businesses have been in the most challenging of times, which is a testament to their adaptability and tenacity.

As the Business Leader states “it is important that we are not complacent about these survey findings. The SME sector comprises at least 95% of all businesses in the UK and is vitally important for the wider economy, but many businesses are still in desperate need of support. As we enter into a post-Covid and Brexit world filled with new challenges, the government should make it a top priority to help these businesses thrive.”

Source: Business Leader

The Startup Pack Comment: Couldn’t agree more that what the Government need to do is to put maximum effort and resources to supporting and encouraging all businesses, and SME’s and Start-ups in particular to grow and thrive. As a foot note, however, this should be linked with a serious attempt to cut down on the time wasting bureaucracy that is so often involved in providing support to business. Cutting out the ‘Box ticking’ attitude of many such exercises would also help!

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