While it is very frank about the short-term outlook, which is quite negative, there are signs of life in the SME sector, which offers a lot of hope for the economy and the millions of jobs that are supported by the UK’s entrepreneurial businesses.The report reveals that UK SME revenue is predicted to fall by 28% in the second quarter of the year, with three-quarters of firms expecting coronavirus to have a significant impact for the next three months. However, this figure drops to less than 20% after 12 months and to just 8% after two years, which is more of a positive outlook than many would have thought. Another note of optimism comes from Barclaycard Payment data, which reports that the number of its SME clients actively taking payments has increased by 24% since the lowest point in early April, shortly after the start of lockdown. Sticking up a virtually closed sign across Britain sent a shockwave through the country, the population, and the economy. Slowly, but surely, as people, and the businesses that we’re able to operate either remotely or as essential services, adjusted to this seismic shift, a level of activity did resume. Even more heartening was the belief that entrepreneurs will see their enterprises take an upward turn in the future with two-thirds of SMEs questioned by Barclaycard Payments planning to invest in their businesses over the next 12 months. It is this optimistic realism that will be instrumental in tackling this recession head-on. As a nation on entrepreneurs, we are renowned for adapting to the landscape around us so we can put our noses to the grindstone and make a success of our businesses. It will require innovation, confidence, and good old-fashioned sheer bloody-mindedness. These are qualities that the majority of our SMEs have in spades. Stay safe and stay in business.
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