Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are generally optimistic about Covid-19 restrictions being lifted on 21 June, but three in ten said that they were worried that the restrictions may continue.
According to a new survey by Nucleus Commercial Finance, 31 per cent of SME leaders are optimistic about all restrictions being lifted next month, but 30 per cent are unsure that all measures will be removed by then, and 26 per cent believe that the removal of all restrictions by this date will be delayed.
Just 12 per cent of SMEs believe that all restrictions will be removed by June and there will be no future lockdowns.
The survey comes amid ongoing concern that the India variant of Covid-19 could lead to new regional or national lockdowns.
Nucleus Commercial Finance found that smaller businesses are the least optimistic about restrictions lifting, while SMEs based in the South West and London are most fearful of future lockdowns.
“After more than a year of lockdowns impacting their ability to open their doors, or in some cases even survive, it’s hardly surprising that SME owners are still worried about what the future holds,” said Chirag Shah, chief executive of Nucleus Commercial Finance.
“Despite level two restrictions being lifted this week, there is still a sense of uncertainty about whether life will return to ‘normal’ next month. However, it is important for business owners to remember that they have shown extraordinary levels of resilience over the past 12 months and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“Moving forward, government and industry must work together to raise awareness of the various support measures available, and reassure business owners of the help at hand. These solutions can be tailored to business’ specific needs and delivered at speed to help them not only survive, but thrive in the pandemic and beyond.”