SME businesses struggling during pandemic
Poor cashflow is the biggest financial concern for small businesses in the UK this year with 32 per cent of businesses in the healthcare sector among those expecting to make a loss this year, according to a report by card payments specialist takepayments limited.

A survey carried out of SME business owners found that more than a quarter of businesses have been constantly chasing late payments during the pandemic, with 42 per cent of businesses within the charity and voluntary sector the most fearful of late payments.

Findings in The Business Challenges report also uncovered widespread concern on the impact Brexit will have on cashflow, with over a fifth of small business owners worried about how Brexit will affect their cash flow.

Overall, more than one in ten businesses say financial challenges will be their biggest concern for the year ahead thanks to the economic crisis caused by Coronavirus and subsequent UK lockdowns.

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The wider effects of the global pandemic are clear to see from the report as 49 per cent of small businesses anticipate their business to make a loss or close in the year ahead.

The report also revealed potential financial skills gaps in small businesses, with almost 18 per cent of business owners and senior decision-makers describing their knowledge of invoicing as ‘limited’ and a further fifth stating they were not confident using online banking for their business.

Despite the government extending the furlough scheme to help reduce the number of unemployment in the UK and ease the financial strain on businesses owners, 30 per cent of businesses admit they have already let staff members go due to the pandemic and over two fifths of SMEs admitted using the furlough scheme.

Sandra Rowley at takepayments limited said “Last year proved a challenging time for all businesses and unfortunately the uncertainty has continued into this year.  It is concerning that one in four business owners are finding themselves constantly chasing up late payments.

“It’s not only time consuming for them but it also has a worrying impact on them. Many businesses are struggling so ensuring they have a steady cash flow is imperative to make sure they can pay their bills and their business gets through this pandemic.”

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