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Nucleus: SME leaders hopeful of 12 month bounce back post-COVID

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Small to medium enterprise (SME) leaders believe it will take on average 12 months for their businesses to make up for lost revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to research revealed today by Nucleus Commercial Finance.

 

More than half a million SMEs (590,000) said it will take between 10-12 months to make up the lost revenue, and 1.6 million predicted that it would take between 10 months and two years.

With the release of pent-up consumer demand following the easing of restrictions, medium-sized businesses were most confident, with 27% saying it will take them between seven and nine months to return to a pre-COVID financial state.

Smaller businesses were marginally less optimistic, with 25% believing it will take between 10 and 12 months.

For some, however, the lost revenue is expected to have a lasting impact, with nearly one in five (18%) sole traders concerned that their businesses will never recover from the lost revenue.

The research also found that business owners aged between 18 and 34 were more optimistic about making up lost revenue, with 23% hoping to see a recovery in the first for to six months, whereas 24% of business owners aged 55-plus did not see their business recovering for at least one to two years.

Regionally, London and the South East were most optimistic. Just short of a quarter (24%) of SME leaders in the South East predict a recovery within 10 and 12 months, and a quarter (25%) of those in London confidently hope for a recovery in seven to nine months.

The North West and South West of England remains the least optimistic, with 50% of SME leaders predicting recovery to take between one and two years.

Chirag Shah, CEO of Nucleus Commercial Finance, said: “While the trepidations of the pandemic and subsequent restrictions will have lasting effects for many British businesses, it’s encouraging to see such optimism among SMEs about their projected finances as they return to business as usual.

“However, the roadmap out of lockdown will not be without its challenges.

“As businesses across the country begin to reopen, government and industry must collectively raise awareness of the varying support measures available to aid these businesses in their longer-term recovery, ultimately providing a much-needed boost to our economy.”

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