Tide, a leading business financial platform, has revealed there is real optimism amongst small businesses owners that their businesses will return to pre-COVID normality by the end of the year. Insights from their research were:
- Buoyed by vaccine roll-out, 64% of small business leaders optimistic they could see a return to pre-COVID normality before the end of the year
- However, 20% believe they will have to make redundancies once furlough comes to an end
- Long-term support needed to see small businesses return to normal
While small businesses are optimistic about the longer term, they are still facing extreme difficulty in the short-term. Only a quarter (26%) of small businesses expect to see their business’s income increase over the next three months.
The study revealed that there is strong demand for the Chancellor to announce the extension of the Job Retention (furlough) Scheme in the upcoming Budget. Almost a third (28%) of small businesses say this would be crucial to their business’s survival. In addition, 32% would like to see an extension to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and a further third (31%) would like an extension to business tax breaks.
The furlough scheme has undoubtedly been a lifeline for small businesses and the millions of people they employ. Worryingly, a fifth (20%) of business leaders surveyed say they expect to have to make redundancies once the scheme ends, and a further 21% unsure if they will be able to keep people on.
The research was conducted by TLF Research, using their online panel YourSayPays, on behalf of Tide. 500 decision makers at businesses with up to 50 employees were surveyed between 9th and 15th February 2021.