One in five small businesses expecting to go under without bumper Christmas this year

According to a new report from small business insurance provider Simply Business, one in five SMEs don’t expect to survive 2022 without a bumper festive trading period.

The report, which surveyed 600 small business owners, also found that more than two in five (43%) of the SMEs surveyed are still struggling to recover financially from the impact of Covid-19 – which has cost SME owners over £126.6bn in lost earnings.

It also found that over a third of small businesses make over 20 percent of their annual income in this crucial festive period, but 21 percent say attracting customers is one of the biggest challenges they are facing this year.

The other key challenges cited were earning enough to stay in business (17 percent) and the impact of continuing supply chain issues (20 percent). 52 percent also said they fear future lockdowns and tighter restrictions (and their impact).

Over a quarter (27%) of SMEs also say they’re ‘not confident’ about their business’s chances this December.

When commenting on the findings, Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, said: “While much of the UK prepares for a period of well-earned festive cheer, the feeling among small business owners is likely to be rather more sombre this Christmas.

“Few have been harder hit in the last two years. They’ve faced the pandemic head-on, navigated supply shortages, and adapted to a new normal. They’ve shown resilience in abundance and done all they can to stay afloat. But without a bumper Christmas trading period, one in five small businesses will permanently close in 2022.

“It’s vital we support small businesses this Christmas. And if anything, the pandemic has served as another reminder that we should be supporting them all year round. They’re the lifeblood of our local communities, and with close to six million of them in the UK, together they contribute trillions of pounds in turnover. They are quite simply the backbone of the economy.

“This Christmas needs to right the ship after a challenging two years and set them up for recovery in 2022. But small businesses are for life, not just for Christmas – they wish it could be Christmas every day.”