1 June 2021
The UK faces an unprecedented challenge to get the Economy going again in the wake of a global pandemic. Owner managed businesses are vital to this recovery.
In a client survey conducted by the Association of Practicing Accountants, of which Shipleys LLP is a member, 435 businesses across 15 sectors and 11 regions of the UK relayed the challenges they now face. The survey’s findings capture a representative sample of the aspirations and concerns of owner managed businesses as they move from crisis to recovery.
Owner managed businesses coming out of the third lockdown are still struggling with the impact of Covid-19 and an uncertain economic outlook:
- 11% reported that it is likely they will have to make redundancies in the next 3-6 months putting a potential 1.85 million jobs at risk across the UK
- 24% reported a negative or very negative impact on their business since the UK left the EU
- 53% of respondents identified uncertain trading conditions as their biggest single challenge
- 15% cited Brexit supply chain issues as their single biggest challenge
- 84% of respondents reported that they were either confident or somewhat confident that they would be able to access the finance that they needed over the next 6 months with anecdotal evidence suggesting that the major banks were continuing to lend
- Longer term, 54% were more positive about their economic prospects outside the EU while 46% were less positive
Download the full research findings here.
Background to the survey
The Association of Practising Accountants (APA) is a network of leading professional and business service firms providing support to over 14,000 business across the UK. Following on from its research last Autumn into business recovery in the UK, this latest study examined current trading conditions, the impact of Brexit, views on the recent Budget including policy measures that were now needed to help support owner managed businesses.
It also assessed the ongoing impact of existing Government support schemes and what would happen when these come to and end. The survey was conducted between 12 April and 15 May 2021. Commenting on the findings APA Chairman Martin Muirhead said:
“What is clear from our research is that a significant minority of owner managed businesses who have managed to pull through the last 12 months are still in survival mode with uncertain trading conditions being the biggest concern to a majority.
“Nonetheless there is also evidence to suggest that those businesses that have managed to weather the impact of Covid-19 are now more resilient and that existing and proposed Government support measures have generally been well received.
“Over the coming months it is vital that Government maintains a flexible and targeted approach to business support focusing resource on those sectors where there is the greatest need. Owner managed businesses form the backbone of the UK economy and need continued, targeted support as we emerge from this third lockdown”
Along with other APA member firms, Shipleys will be taking these findings to Government and policy makers over the coming weeks to ensure that they are prioritising resource where it is most needed to ensure the sustainability of owner managed business across the UK. A big thank you to all our clients who participated in the survey.
Specific advice should be obtained before taking action, or refraining from taking action, in relation to this summary. If you would like advice or further information, please speak to your usual Shipleys contact.
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