80% of British small businesses believe they have shown resilience at its best throughout the pandemic.
79% noted that they have had to adapt their business throughout the pandemic, but 75% feel optimistic about the future of their company’s future.
London, 22nd July 2021 – As we say goodbye to lockdown restrictions, new research from Sky Connect, Sky’s new B2B telecoms business, celebrates the strength and adaptability of British small businesses with a third revealing that the secret to their resilience over the past year is sheer hard work and motivation. The majority of the UK’s SMEs (80%) – which make up over 99% of the business population – believe they have shown resilience at its best throughout the pandemic.
In fact, SMEs have fared better than larger businesses with Local Data Company research revealing that the independent retail and leisure market was more resilient than chains. With 66% of small businesses agreeing that they are more resilient than larger businesses.
Over this past year, businesses across the UK have had to deal with a lot of change, with almost a third of British SMEs saying they have felt anxious and 79% noting that they have had to adapt their business. However, during this incredibly tough time for small businesses, over half have lent a helping hand to another business in need, with London’s SMEs being the most generous across the UK (69%).
Kevin O’Toole, Managing Director, Sky Connect said: “It’s been a tough year for British small businesses. But it’s testament to their resilience that many of our smallest businesses are among the most adaptable – and the most optimistic about the future. It was no surprise to me to see that they’ve bounced back better than larger firms. At Sky Connect, we believe that small businesses should be provided with as much support, and the best tools as possible to grow and recover.”
Mike Cherry, Federation of Small Businesses National Chair, said: “Sky Connect’s research shines a new light on how small businesses have coped through COVID and the public health restrictions. The resilience of the country’s 6 million small business owners has never been more on display than it has during this pandemic. Small firms helped each other, engaged in their local communities and did their bit to get through to the other side of the crisis. After incredibly tough times, confidence and optimism among small businesses is now bouncing back. They are ready to innovate, reinvent themselves, connect to customers and drive the recovery.”
Thankfully, 75% said they feel optimistic about the future of their business as we come out of lockdown and almost a third (32%) of UK’s small businesses say that they have felt more resilient thanks to the strength of their staff over the past year.
In fact, the UK’s most optimistic industries are manufacturing (87%), healthcare (85%), and construction (81%). But even the hardest hit sectors are positive about the future, with 80% of food service, 73% of retail and automotive and 71% of travel agent SMEs currently feeling optimistic for their businesses.
Bronwyn Lowenthal, Founder of London-based sustainable womenswear brand Lowie said: “The pandemic has been one of the biggest challenges for the business since Lowie was founded nearly twenty years ago. But we used our passion for what we do to work hard, push us through the tough times and adapt to a fully online business during lockdowns. The work we put in to reach customers online has benefited us long-term and we’re now feeling very optimistic about the future of the brand as we continue to improve our ecommerce offerings and create beautiful handcrafted designs we know our customers will love.”
Kyle Parchment, Founder of Birmingham-based vegan food delivery service Jam N Vegan said: “While the pandemic presented challenges for us and many local businesses, we were determined to keep the business running at all costs and continue to provide the community and our loyal customers with tasty and sustainable vegan meals to help see them through the depths of lockdown. Witnessing the incredible positive response from our customers, who have truly rallied around us during this difficult time, has made us more and more optimistic for the future and shown that hard work really does pay off.”
Sky Connect is a new entrant in the UK B2B telecoms market focused on partnering with small businesses to provide them with a better broadband experience, offering purpose-built business products, exceptional service, and simple pricing with no hidden fees. Created with reliability in mind, Sky Connect offers ‘Connection Pro’, an automatic 4G back-up service, as well as ‘VoiceEdge’ – the UK’s most feature-rich* inclusive digital phone service for small businesses, helping them to manage their calls from anywhere and everywhere.
To support small businesses in bouncing back from the pandemic, Sky recently launched SME100, a £2 million+ support scheme for UK SME’s. The scheme offered 100 small businesses £20,000 of free TV advertising across Sky Media’s channels, as well as a free 12-month superfast broadband and digital phone package, courtesy of Sky Connect.