Conister: Not all SMEs can be saved from lockdown effects

Although the government’s furlough scheme has proven successful, the fact remains that many small to medium enterprises (SMEs) will still feel the fallout from COVID-19 when the supports come to an end, according to Conister Finance and Leasing.


This comment follows early estimates for October 2020 from the Office for National Statistics, which suggest that there was a slight drop over the month in the number of payroll employees in the UK.

Since March 2020, the number of payroll employees has fallen by 782,000.

Douglas Grant, director of Conister, said: “The relatively low increase in unemployment over Q3 shows that the government’s furlough scheme has been successful in mitigating some of the potential fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“However, with redundancies reaching a record high over this period, it is clear that while the furlough scheme has been instrumental keeping many SMEs alive, not all businesses can or will be saved.

“The latest lockdown measures in England will sadly be the last nail in the coffin for many companies which simply cannot receive capital quickly enough.

However, Grant added that firms such as Conister have a vital role to play in reducing the negative effects of this lockdown period for those businesses with the strength to withstand the worst of it.

He said: “We are therefore determined and absolutely focused on protecting those robust businesses operating in sectors that are resilient and ultimately will grow stronger with the necessary capital in the long term.

“We consistently support the government’s financial assistance for businesses, and would urge continued collaboration with alternative and traditional lenders to identify and protect the more resilient sectors of the economy, ensuring their existence is guaranteed.”

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