Small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners are more concerned about the second wave of Covid-19 than the impact of Brexit, a new survey has found.
Almost half (48 per cent) of British SMEs said that a second wave of Covid-19 is the number one concern for their business over the next 12 months, compared with just 24 per cent who said that their greatest fear is Brexit.
According to new research from Nucleus Commercial Finance, 28 per cent of SMEs are worried about how their business will survive reduced consumer spending due to lack of financial confidence, while 25 per cent are anxious about their ability to recover from the impact of the pandemic.
Just 18 per cent of SMEs told Nucleus that they were not fearful of anything in the 12 months ahead.
“It’s natural that given the current uncertainty, businesses are fearful of the future and the impact of significant events such as a second wave of coronavirus and Brexit,” said Chirag Shah, chief executive of Nucleus Commercial Finance.
“However, UK SMEs are demonstrating considerable resilience, and we expect they will continue to do so. We know that there is a role for alternative lenders to play in helping Britain’s businesses and supporting them in achieving their goals.
“Together, we can support SMEs to ensure they are equipped to tackle any further challenges thrown their way, as well as boost their performance – and, ultimately, stimulate economic growth.”
Nucleus’ research also found that younger SME executives are much less concerned about the second wave of Covid-19 than older professionals, with just 38 per cent of 18-34-year olds naming the pandemic as their top concern for the year ahead, compared with 52 per cent for those aged 35-54.
71 per cent of SME decision makers told Nucleus that they have already altered their strategy or are planning to in order to survive the pandemic. 27 per cent have shifted their teams to remote working, 19 per cent have started to offer an online version of their business, and 13 per cent have begun to offer new products and services.