One in five small businesses would not survive a second lockdown

Almost one in five smaller firms believe they could not survive another lockdown and would be forced to stop trading permanently if one came into effect, a new study suggests.

Simply Business said its survey of 500 small to medium-sized companies (SMEs) found that one in three believe another lockdown would hit them harder than the last one.

The small business insurer said only 5% of respondents think they would cope better.

One in four of those questioned predicted it will take 12-18 months to recover the money lost during the Covid-19 crisis.

A further one in eight think it could take a “staggering” two to three years, said the report.

More than two-thirds of the business owners polled said they expect their employee numbers to remain the same, with one in five fearing job cuts.

Simply Business chief executive Alan Thomas said: “The nationwide lockdown has had a significant effect on all businesses and our research has highlighted the potentially fatal impact that further lockdowns could have on many small businesses.

“Few have been financially harder hit than SMEs, small businesses, and the self-employed, and it’s telling that many live in fear of another lockdown and the consequences it would have on their business.

“Whilst business owners are innovating, they are still reliant on macro-economic policy. Government decisions on local lockdowns could decide the fate of many small businesses.”

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