More than a quarter of SMEs need additional support from the Government to stay afloat


Despite the Government spending hundreds of billions of pounds to guide the UK through the Coronavirus pandemic, over a quarter (27%) of SMEs admit they require additional government support in order to stay afloat.

The survey, which was commissioned by Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance, spoke to more than 1,000 senior business decision makers at SMEs across the UK from a range of different industries about how the support from the Government has impacted their business.

Businesses in the East Midlands (39%), Wales (37%) and Scotland (33%) were the regions most in need of additional support, while SMEs in the North East of England required the least.

UK regions most in need of additional government support:

  1. East Midlands – 39%
  2. Wales – 37%
  3. Scotland – 33%
  4. South West – 28%
  5. South East – 26%

When looking at the data on an industry level, SMEs in the hospitality industry were most in need of additional support with more than half of senior decision makers in this sector agreeing the Government needed to do more to help them survive, while nearly a third (30%) of manufacturing businesses and 29% of retailers also said they required more help to remain solvent.

SME sectors most in need of additional government support

  1. Hospitality and leisure (54%)
  2. Manufacturing (30%)
  3. Retail (29%)
  4. Marketing (27%)
  5. Construction (25%)

Hitachi Capital’s survey also examined redundancies among SMEs across the country and found that 23% of those surveyed have had to let people go as a result of the pandemic.

The survey of SME leaders found that nearly a third of businesses in London and the South East have had to make redundancies as a result of the pandemic, more than any other region in the UK. Firms in Yorkshire (13%) saw the fewest number of redundancies as a result of the pandemic.

Despite a large chunk of SMEs requiring additional government support, a third of businesses surveyed admitted that their firm would not have survived without the Government support received to date.

Commenting on the research, Andy Dodd, Managing Director at Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance, said: “While hundreds of thousands of SMEs have benefitted from the Government’s support to date, it’s clear that many are in need of more financial help to stay afloat. We hope our survey highlights to the Government that several industries need more to be done in order to avoid an increase on the 23% of SMEs who have already had to make redundancies as a result of the pandemic.”