SMEs expect to recover from COVID impact by 2022

Research from investment company MBH Corporation suggests that most UK SMEs expect their businesses to recover to pre-pandemic levels by next year, if not sooner.

Staff retention was found to be the biggest challenge for small business owners – ahead of worries such as late payments and access to finance.

The study found that 35% of SME owners ranked holding on to good staff against competition from big firms as their biggest issue – more than double those that cited access to finance as their biggest challenge and narrowly ahead of the 33% that said late payment of invoices is their biggest obstacle.

MBH Corporation’s research shows business owners are generally optimistic about the future, with Sunak’s recent Budget boosting confidence.

Commenting on the findings, Callum Laing, CEO of MBH Corporation said: “SMEs are much more sensitive to the impact of good staff than bigger firms, so it is no surprise to see that retention and recruitment are such major issues for business owners.

“It is an issue that we are well aware of and almost all the businesses in our group use their allocation of public stock to retain and attract staff which helps them in levelling the playing field with big corporates.

“Throughout the pandemic we have seen huge dedication and great innovation from small business owners and their teams as they made sure they continued to serve their clients despite all the problems. It is great news that so many are confident they can get back to where they were before the pandemic and even do better in time.”

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