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Will “Freedom Day” be the boost SMEs need?

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3 August 2021: As many of us now begin to get used to experiencing life somewhat as it was pre-pandemic, for example face coverings no longer being required by law, many small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) will now hope that they are able to see their businesses reach levels of trading as they were pre-pandemic as they hope to improve their cash flow. However, is the easing of restrictions enough for small businesses to be able to recover?

It cannot be ignored that the cost of the pandemic on SME’s has been significant, with one article declaring that the costs for small businesses have been higher than anticipated, with costs reaching £126.6 billion. A sample of 1,206 small businesses (across all sectors) have lost £15,673 each on average which is up from the initial estimate of £11,779 last year. Furthermore, 81% of those businesses have felt that they did not receive enough support from the Government during the last 12 months of the pandemic and had wished that there was better communication from the Government in regards to support schemes, while half of the small businesses have felt that the Government should have offered a wider range of financial support schemes.

65% of small business owners are feeling more confident about their recovery due to the vaccine rollout but, earlier this week, professor Chris Whitty stated that the “UK is not out of the woods yet” when it comes to the coronavirus as he told a webinar hosted by the Science Museum and further added that “we could get into trouble again surprisingly fast”. In fact, 48% of small businesses are worried about the potential of another lockdown and the statistics show that currently the levels of new infections have risen from 27,556 new cases on 1 July 2021 to 53,969 new cases on 17 July 2021.

Undoubtedly, only time will tell if many current SME’s are able to stay afloat with the next year being a pivotal indicator as to whether SME’s are able to continue trading, however, owners will most certainly hope that there will be no more barriers for their road to recovery.

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