takepayments Limited: UK Small Businesses Suffer Due to Pandemic
Poor cashflow is the biggest financial concern for small businesses in the UK this year, as more than a quarter (26%) of businesses reveal they are constantly chasing late payments during the pandemic.
Businesses within the insurance and pensions sector (46%) and charity and voluntary sector (42%) are the most fearful of late payments with nearly half expecting to chase late payment of invoices throughout the year (46% and 42% respectively).
The Business Challenges report, carried out by card payments specialist takepayments limited, also uncovered widespread concern on the impact Brexit will have on cash flow, with over a fifth (21%) of small business owners worried about how Brexit will affect their cash flow.
Overall, more than one in ten (15%) businesses say financial challenges will be their biggest concern for the year ahead thanks to the economic crisis caused by Coronavirus and subsequent UK lockdowns.
The wider effects of the global pandemic are clear to see from the report as almost half (49%) of small businesses anticipate their business to make a loss or close in the year ahead.
Businesses within the performing arts (33%), healthcare (32%), creative arts and design (26%), and hospitality and events management (26%) industries are those most expecting to make a loss this year.
The report also revealed potential financial skills gaps in small businesses, with almost one-fifth (18%) of business owners and senior decision-makers describing their knowledge of invoicing as ‘limited’ and a further fifth (19%) stating they were not confident using online banking for their business.
Despite the government extending the furlough scheme to help reduce the number of unemployment in the UK and ease the financial strain on businesses owners, three in ten (30%) of business admit they have already let staff members go due to the pandemic and over two fifths (43%) of SMEs admitted using the furlough scheme.
Sandra Rowley at takepayments limited said, “Last year proved a challenging time for all businesses and unfortunately the uncertainty has continued into this year. It is concerning that one in four business owners are finding themselves constantly chasing up late payments. It’s not only time-consuming for them, but it also has a worrying impact on them. Many businesses are struggling so ensuring they have a steady cash flow is imperative to make sure they can pay their bills and their business gets through this pandemic.”
The full findings of the takepayemts 2021 Business Challenges Report are available to view here.
The Business Challenges report surveyed SME business owners and decision-makers across the UK to uncover the current small business landscape for the year ahead.
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