SMEs stand tall in face of pandemic, with over half adapting to survive

As the fear of a second wave of Covid-19 increases, SMEs are demonstrating their resilience, as research from Nucleus Commercial Finance reveals nearly three fifths (57%) have had to adapt to survive the pandemic.

Of these businesses, over a quarter (27%) said the new strategy is delivering success and a further 53% said they will continue some of the new measures to help drive their business forward.

In order to survive, businesses have adapted by shifting teams to remote working (27%), 19% are now delivering their offer online, and a further 13% have started offering new products and services. Additionally, the pandemic triggered some businesses to consider their regional footprint, with one in eight (13%) responding to commuters being at home by becoming more locally focused.

When considering the long-term impact of the pandemic on business strategy, the majority of SMEs (71%) have already altered their strategy or are planning to. However, for almost a third of SMEs (29%), the focus is on surviving the here and now, rather than planning for the future. This figure rises the smaller a business gets – 37% for those with 2-10 employees and 60% for one man bands.

Chirag Shah, CEO, Nucleus Commercial Finance, said: “British businesses have always remained resilient in the face of adversity and this insight shows that Covid-19 is no exception. It’s encouraging to see that SMEs are adapting their approach to navigate uncertain times, which will stand them in good stead for what is likely to remain a challenging landscape for some time.

“SMEs are the backbone of our economy, accounting for 99% of all UK companies. For these businesses to thrive, not just survive, it’s vital that they have made financial plans to support them in weathering the storm. Business owners should explore the many options available to them, finding the finance that fits their business needs. As an industry we need to ensure that they know there are partners who can support them in accessing the finance they need, quickly, to support their short and long-term goals.”