Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are optimistic about their post-pandemic recovery, with 8.1 per cent revenue growth predicted by the end of 2021.
According to Barclaycard Payment’s latest SME barometer, 42 per cent of SMEs expect the current lockdown to be the last, and 70 per cent of these said that they are optimistic or cautiously optimistic about the future.
The SME barometer found that SME sentiment has steadily risen by 19 points to 98 from an early-pandemic low of 79, as the vaccine rollout sparks hope of an economic recovery later this year.
A quarter of SMEs told Barclaycard that their output has already surpassed, or returned to, pre-pandemic levels seen at the start of 2020.
However, despite this optimism, SMEs are anticipating a revenue drop of approximately 7.5 per cent for the first three months of 2021.
“While 2021 offers all of us hope for a national recovery, small businesses especially are looking forward to emerging from coronavirus uncertainty,” said Rob Cameron, chief executive of Barclaycard Payments.
“SMEs have proven their agility, adapting quickly to get online, catering to a nation stuck at home and changing how their teams get the job done.
“While the world may be returning to some form of normal this year, small businesses have realised the benefits of flexible working and digital skills, with many already looking at what improvements they can take forward into 2021.”
Once the economic recovery begins, 62 per cent of SMEs plan to increase their marketing spend, while 42 per cent intend to save cash, and another 42 per cent said they will be changing their offering to cater to customers after the pandemic.