70 per cent of small business owners feel more confident about this year due to the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines, new research has found.
A survey of over 500 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), carried out by the Great British Entrepreneur Awards (GBEA) and Starling Bank, found that the majority of SMEs felt positively towards the vaccine.
More than half (56 per cent) of business owners said they will ask their colleagues to get the vaccine once it becomes available and most (74 per cent) will be getting the vaccine themselves.
Over a third (39 per cent) of SME business owners said they can survive in 2021 without additional financial support.
However, 42 per cent believe they will need financial support this year. 13 per cent forecast that they will require a loan and three per cent plan to borrow from friends and family while the rest are unsure where they will find the money.
Some 17 per cent said they would increase marketing spend, 16 per cent will focus on improving technology and eight per cent plan to spend money on training more staff.
Men were far more confident than women that they would outperform 2020 this year.
On a sliding scale of 0-10, men rated their confidence level at 8.7 and women at 6.7, although this may be due to the types of businesses they own.
“As we head into the New Year it’s great to see the continued resilience and optimism of many British business owners who have been hit very hard by the pandemic,” said Anne Boden, founder and chief executive of Starling Bank.
“At Starling we hope to continue to support them by listening to them and developing features that will help their businesses grow.”
“There is no denying that there has been huge disruption and uncertainty for entrepreneurs and their businesses this year,” said Francesca James, founder of GBEA.
“However, as this survey has shown, there is a real feeling of optimism among the entrepreneurial community.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have witnessed so much resilience, tenacity and agility that has fuelled ongoing innovation and with the ‘new normal’, entrepreneurs will be at the forefront of finding opportunities that will lead to greater wealth and job creation in the economy.”