SMEs biggest challenges as lockdown eases

Following the announcement by the government of a gradual easing of the lockdown restrictions, we conducted a poll of SMEs. The poll was conducted over 24 hours on Monday 11th & Tuesday 12th May 2020.

Below are the results.

Easing of lockdown; SMEs challenges poll resultsHealth and safety is the most pressing concern among businesses emerging from lockdown according to the latest poll we have undertaken together with other members of the UK’s leading legal and accounting membership group, the UK200Group.

The survey of 550 SME clients shows 276 are concerned about health and safety; 249 SMEs are worried about cash flow, and 223 small businesses about getting clients to buy.

The results show, quite simply, that businesses are worried about the uncertainty and complexities associated with reopening.

They are confident about how to get their basic operations back up and running, but are concerned about protecting employees and customers, and encouraging customers to buy.

Additionally, whilst the extension to furlough funding is welcome, the future of many businesses is not guaranteed.

Onus on businesses and employers

Whilst Government advice has been useful, the onus is ultimately on businesses and employers to make good decisions.

SMEs have indicated that they need clarification about how easing of the lockdown will impact them; this includes how their adherence to guidelines will be measured. This ranges from using PPE, to managing social distancing responsibly.

The survey also shows that while wrongful trading provisions have been temporarily suspended, the practical aspects of the challenge to manage cashflow remain.

In addition, there is an eagerness to keep customers happy, maintain staff morale and treat suppliers fairly.

Businesses are also weighing up the issues involved in seeking legal redress when not being paid for services. This is, in many cases, paired with the need to consider protective claims through the Courts, as and when they reopen.

How can George Hay help?

The poll results are helping us to look at the different ways that we can help our clients. We will be developing more content and tools to support you in the coming weeks and months.

To speak to one of our team about the challenges your business faces, as lockdown restrictions begin to ease, contact us today.

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