Small business sacrifices 2020

Jo Cresswell
07 December 2020
2 minute read

Small businesses have been disproportionately hit by the pandemic. Owners of these businesses have been locked out of a lot of government support and we’ve found from our research* that more than eight in 10 small business owners have made personal sacrifices during the pandemic to keep business afloat.

Financial and personal sacrifices

Almost half (48%) of small business owners have reduced their salary during the pandemic, while over a quarter (27%) stopped taking a salary full stop. Consequently, 21% took out a personal loan to help their business and almost one in 10 (9%) remortgaged their home.

The extent of sacrifices stretch far beyond the financial; the personal wellbeing of small business owners is under increasing strain. 15% of small business owners say they’ve lost friendships, 8% have broken off a relationship with a partner and over four in 10 (41%) have taken minimal time off during the pandemic in order to help their business. These admissions draw further attention to the mental wellbeing of small business owners, whose work and personal lives are very much intertwined.

Stifling growth and innovation

Given the still unknown longevity and impact of the pandemic, it’s unsurprising that seven in 10 (70%) small business owners say that their business plans for 2021 have been impacted. We’re likely to see less hiring (39%), product launches (33%), fundraising (27%) and international expansion (17%) from the UK SME community next year. Indicating significant and long term stifling of growth and innovation among many of the almost six million small businesses in the UK.

For those wanting help with funding their business, our partner Swoop recently pulled together this blog with a number of great funding suggestions. You might also find our blog on scaling a business useful if you’re weighing up your options for 2021.

Many roads to recovery

Demonstrating the sheer resilience and adaptability of UK SMEs, despite the challenging trading conditions two-thirds (66%) still expect to make a profit this year - with almost one in five (19%) predicting higher profits than they expected.

However, the 14% of small business owners that don’t expect to make a profit this year believe it will take, on average, 18 months for their business to return to profitability.

With the country now divided into tiers of differing severity, small businesses will be looking at any silver linings available to them within their respective tiers. At Superscript, we’re here to support small businesses throughout the pandemic and beyond and help them to thrive. We’ve designed our business insurance specifically for small businesses. While traditional insurance providers are unable to adapt their policies fast enough to keep up with changing business needs, we can react quickly with customisable, affordable and flexible monthly subscription-based cover that helps small businesses adapt to changing environments, to grow and scale.

We’d love to hear from you if you think we can help you and your business

*Survey of 500 SME business owners (businesses with <250 employees) conducted on Attest between 24th - 30th November 2020.

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