The pandemic has forced business owners to be both more resilient and more creative than ever before and, as Chartered accountants and business advisers, we’ve been impressed with how those we work with have responded to the unique challenges of the past 18 months.

A report by AXA UK, in partnership with the Centre for Economics & Business Research (CEBR), has now revealed that younger SME owners seem to have fared slightly better than their more experienced counterparts.

The ‘Small Businesses: The Big Picture’ report shows that business owners in the 55-64 age bracket have seen an average 29 per cent drop in turnover, compared to an average 7 per cent decrease observed amongst owners aged 18-24.

However, one in five businesses surveyed reported that turnover had, in fact, increased during the pandemic.

The report indicates that younger business owners displayed more resilience as a result of proactively introducing new products and services, supporting those most in need within their communities, adopting digital solutions and of prioritising innovation.

Looking ahead, SMEs reported changes in consumer behaviour, future restrictions and high debt as some of the key challenges facing them in the next 12 months.

Still, there is a prevailing optimism as those surveyed identified new ways of working, business expansion and a reopening economy as the biggest opportunities to be seized over the coming three years.

Martin Williams, Partner at George Hay, commenting on the report says: “It’s nice to be reminded that, whilst business owners realise that there may still be bumps in the road ahead, they are also cautiously optimistic.

“I think it is only natural that different generations have responded in slightly different ways to the pandemic, and it can only be a good thing that some of the newest entrepreneurs are adapting, innovating and enjoying success as a result.

“Working alongside driven, motivated and enthusiastic individuals, is what we enjoy doing and we are privileged to accompany so many business owners as they overcome challenges and pursue new opportunities.”

To find out how we can support you, contact our team on 01462 708810.

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