Home Research Reports Small businesses hit by revenue worries as lockdown trading restrictions are lifted
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Small businesses hit by revenue worries as lockdown trading restrictions are lifted

by Jackson B
  • One in five believe it will take over 6 months for revenue to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels
  • Rebuilding a customer base seen as the biggest challenge
  • Tide CEO calls for return to #ShopLocal movement

Small businesses eligible to reopen today are concerned about revenue returning to pre-pandemic levels according to a survey by Tide, the UK’s leading business financial platform[1].

Despite the government roll-out of the vaccine programme and a lifting of trading restrictions,  some small businesses are clearly worried about bouncing back. 37% of small businesses are unsure about when revenue will return to pre-pandemic levels with over 20%  stating it could take over 6 months and one in ten (14%) believing it’ll take over a year to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Tide conducted a study amongst its 325,000 members in the hospitality, retail and beauty and wellness industries to understand how they were feeling about reopening their businesses*.

The key concern for small businesses is the time it will take to rebuild customer bases. Of those who stated it’ll take more than three months to bounce back, nearly three quarters (72%) cite this as the main reason. The second most common concern is the need to adapt businesses to meet COVID safety regulations.

Despite concerns, the clear roadmap for reopening has clearly had some positive effects, with 90% of small businesses eligible for reopening being ready to do so as soon as they are able, on Monday 12 April.

Oliver Prill, Tide CEO said: It’s natural for businesses to be apprehensive about reopening after such a turbulent year. I really hope, and am confident we will, see a return of the outpouring of support for small, independent, businesses that was so prevalent this time last year. I would love to see a resurgence of the #ShopLocal campaign and I urge people to shop on their local highstreets as much as they possibly can and demonstrate their support for small businesses as they begin to reopen this week. 

“What we have learned over the course of this crisis is that small businesses are resilient and innovative, while it will take a lot of hard work, I am confident we will see our members come back stronger.”

Happily, the long-term outlook of small business owners in these sectors is bright. 70% of businesses in the hospitality, retail and beauty and wellness sectors are confident their businesses will see some growth, compared to their pre-COVID position, by the end of 2021.\

When asked what kind of support would help them to make reopening successful, a third (32%) said that free or subsidised digital marketing would be the most needed. Rent relief  and business rate relief were also popular options, with 25% and 20% citing this as the most helpful support respectively.

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