One quarter of smaller firms in the UK have serious doubts about their ability to keep going past the end of this year, according to the latest research.
This study was carried out last month, after the plans for exiting lockdown were announced by the government, and it shows many smaller firms have very real worries about their long-term futures. The majority of those that took part in the study said that they had been forced to make radical alterations to keep going since restrictions tightened again last November, such as putting employees on furlough or cutting the number of those working in offices.
Furthermore, one out of every 10 small firms stated that the restrictions had led to them closing their doors, and that they were not sure when they would be able to reopen.
Three fifths said that outside financial assistance would be needed during the upcoming six-month period if they were to survive, while three quarters were still reliant on the support being provided by the government. Bill payments and a decline in sales levels were among the major worries cited. A small business accountant from Goole or wherever a firm is based can sometimes help firms through crisis periods.
There were more positive signs too though, as one third stated that they were expecting a rise in income over the next year – with hospitality, arts and retail companies among the most optimistic. A total of 72% of the firms taking part also said they expect to get back to pre-COVID-19 levels inside a year.