Tue. Oct 20th, 2020

How the Pandemic Has Impacted UK Small Businesses

We recently accomplished a survey with owners of small businesses in the UK, specifically 3,700 UK self-employed people and small business owners, such as takeaways in Fleet, which are detailed in our report that was recently completed. What we were able to discern was that the UK has been affected significantly, but it really depends on where you live.

Highest  Cost to Small Businesses Found in North East and Scotland

We were able to determine that while the average loss of earnings was significant for many, it was £11,779, on average, for those in the North West and in Scotland.

In regard to the average loss of income which focuses upon work, lost earnings, and loan repayments, Scotland reported a loss of £15,483.65 whereas North East of England it was £15,039.52.

Loss of Income by Region

South West England – £10,989.60
North West England – £11,494.86
Wales – £11,804.82
The Midlands – £11,079.12
South East England – £12,753.44
Scotland – £15,483.65
London – £17,074.36
North East England – £15,039.52

It was in the south-west where we saw the fewest number of business closures.

Looking at the other side of the spectrum, it was in the west that the pandemic had the least impact.

A total of nearly £800 was the average loss of income, but fewer business closures, about 2% in the west, had been forced to close their doors permanently, compared to 4% which was the national average.

When looking at the south-east, they are similar, with only about 3% of these small businesses needing to close permanently as a result of Covid-19.

Region % of Businesses Permanently Closed

London – 7%
North East – 4%
South West – 2%
North West – 6%
South East – 3%
Scotland – 5%
Wales – 4%
Midlands – 4%

What was not surprising was that in the south-west, this is the area where businesses were trying to return to normal. In the south-west, 79% of businesses were trying to reopen compared to the south-east, which was at 70%.

How Many UK Businesses Plan to Continue as Normal?

South West – 79 per cent
London – 70 per cent
South East – 78 per cent
Midlands – 74 per cent
Scotland – 76 per cent
North East – 75 per cent
Wales – 74 per cent
North West – 76 per cent

Why London is Effectively the Crucial Help for all Small Business Growth

The capital will always be the focal point of small business activity and that’s why it makes sense that the pandemic is affecting them the most.

The highest average loss of income throughout the UK has been reported there, specifically affecting small businesses that are likely to shut down, coming in at 7%.

The good news is that small businesses in London also have a very low rate of temporary closures at 61% compared to the national average of just about 67%.

London is very important in regard to this pandemic because just 15% of all small business owners that we interviewed were stating that they would like to start a new business once the coronavirus pandemic was over.

Small Businesses Remain Resilient

Alan Thomas, our UK CEO, stated: “The coronavirus has affected every part of the UK, and it is startling when looking at the financial impact. SMEs that are located in the capital will effectively swallow the cost of about £17,000 which is £5,000 higher than what the national average is.

“COVID 19 has affected small business owners financially in a large way, yet we are always surprised by the resiliency and optimism of these business owners.”

“There are so many current businesses that want to continue, or restart their business, and still others that want to open new businesses, which is why we are confident that they will continue to rise and move through all of the stages of this lockdown successfully.”

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