Time-poor SMEs blown over by ongoing impact of Covid-19

  • Operating conditions amid Covid-19 remains the biggest concern for small business owners over the next 12 months, as well as managing costs and challenging market backdrop
  • Social distancing, the wider impact on the economy and reduced customer demand are the key issues facing SME owners running a business through Covid-19
  • Tackling the impact of Covid-19 is also eating into the time SME owners have on running their business

 Despite the easing of lockdown restrictions, UK small business owners see operating in Covid-19 as the biggest headwind for their business over the next 12 months, according to Bionic, the UK business switching service.

Aside from explicit Covid-19 issues, managing costs, challenging market conditions and a lack of cash to invest were the top three headaches for small business owners.

Many small businesses in the UK have been forced to shut their doors to customers through lockdowns and are now being hampered by social distancing measures as government restrictions ease. Those in the Isle of Man are now benefitting from being free of social distancing requirements. 

Small business owners are worried about the amount of time they will have over the next 12 months to spend on growing their business relative to the previous year. Almost half (49%) of SMEs believe they will have less time, compared to 25% that said they will have more time.

 The pandemic is also taking its toll on the mental wellbeing of SME owners. Nearly half (48%) of UK small business owners say that running a business during the coronavirus crisis has had a negative impact on their mental health. Almost one in 10 (9%) say their mental wellbeing has got significantly worse since March.

 Commenting on the research, Paul Galligan, CEO of Bionic, told B365:“British small business owners have been battered by headwinds over the past three months and are continuing to fight hard to keep their businesses afloat. Covid-19 has presented SMEs with a whole new raft of challenges but has also exacerbated the pre-existing issues facing small businesses. Running a business is complex, and time-poor SMEs are struggling under the weight of admin and red tape bearing down on them. Keeping a handle on costs and finding ways to continually pivot will be key to many businesses’ survival.”