Nucleus: 31% of SMEs relying on Christmas to survive
One in three (31%) UK small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are relying on the Christmas period to help them survive, according to research released by Nucleus Commercial Finance.
The research found that 20% of SMEs are anticipating a challenging Christmas trading period; among these, 18% think their businesses will suffer over the season, and 2% believe they will have to close.
The majority (69%) of SMEs are anticipating cut-backs in consumer spending this year; however, 80% believed more shoppers will go online this year, while 41% anticipate an increase in customers shopping with them via online channels in the run up to Christmas.
Almost a third (30%) of SMEs also anticipated a boost in business as a result of shoppers staying local, with 11% believing they will be able to flourish over the next few months and start the new year in a good position.
Chirag Shah, CEO of Nucleus Commercial Finance, said: “2020 has been a year of disruption for people and businesses globally. Here in the UK, we’ve seen remarkable resilience as a result of both government support and the mettle of our SME landscape.
“The Christmas season ahead will undoubtedly reflect the economic challenges we’ve collectively faced this year, but I am pleased to see some optimism about people choosing to shop locally and support their communities.
“SMEs are vital to the UK economy, so it is crucial we keep supporting them. Adaptability has been key this year – and we are likely to see those businesses who have been able to flex their models to accommodate lockdown restrictions and a need for online channels really reap the rewards this Christmas.
“And while the road ahead may be rocky, this gives the alternative lending space a chance to step up and demonstrate both commitment and support to our SMEs.”