Second wave beats Brexit as businesses’ top fear

Almost half of British businesses fear the impact of the second wave of Coronavirus (48%), more than they fear the impact of Brexit (24%), according to new research from Nucleus Commercial Finance.

SMEs are also concerned about how their business will survive reduced consumer spending due to lack of financial confidence (28%) and their ability to recover from the impact of Coronavirus (25%). In contrast, nearly a fifth (18%) of SMEs said they were not fearful of anything.

The research also found that younger SME senior decision makers seem much less concerned about a second wave of Coronavirus than their older counterparts. Just 38% of 18-34 year olds are most concerned about a second wave, compared to 52% for those aged 35-54 and 49% for senior decision makers aged 55 and over.

The findings show SMEs are demonstrating resilience – and, when considering the long-term impact of the pandemic, the majority of SMEs (71%) have already altered their strategy or are planning to in order to survive. Businesses have adapted by shifting teams to remote working (27%), offering their products and services online (19%), and a further 13% have started offering new products and services.

Chirag Shah, CEO, Nucleus Commercial Finance, said: “It’s natural that given the current uncertainty, businesses are fearful of the future and the impact of significant events such as a second wave of Coronavirus and Brexit. However, UK SMEs are demonstrating considerable resilience, and we expect they will continue to do so. We know that there is a role for alternative lenders to play in helping Britain’s businesses and supporting them in achieving their goals. Together, we can support SMEs to ensure they are equipped to tackle any further challenges thrown their way, as well as boost their performance – and, ultimately, stimulate economic growth.”