UK SMEs start to recover despite gloomier predictions

New Barclaycard Payments data shows positive signs SMEs have started to recover from the unprecedented pandemic impacted year, but not without some road blocks.

The second SME Barometer by the company found that’s despite earlier short-term performance predictions by UK businesses, and after a dip in sentiment by 31 per cent this quarter, compared with the last quarter.

On top of that, there has been low expectations for business growth, with revenue predicted to fall by 28 per cent in Q2 and contract by 5.1 per cent over the year ahead.

Head of small business acquiring, Barclaycard Payments, Konrad Kelling said it’s encouraging to see small and medium-sized businesses starting to come online again as we emerge from lockdown.

“While we don’t expect an overnight recovery, the resilience and perseverance of small businesses gives us optimism as we look towards the next 12 to 24 months,” Mr Kelling said.

“It’s not surprising to see that small and medium-sized businesses feel the environment will continue to be challenging this quarter, with SMEs highlighting disruption to their supply chains, difficulty reaching customers and adapting to entirely new ways of working as key challenges.

“We understand why SMEs are worried – and we are working tirelessly to make it as easy as possible for small business owners to get the information and support they need.”

More than four in five SMEs say coronavirus has already had a negative impact on their business and nearly three-quarters of them forecast coronavirus will continue to have a negative impact for the next three months.

But the good news is many businesses remain positive about the future, with only one in five thinking the virus will still have a significant impact after 12 months.

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