A survey of over 600 owner-managed businesses by the Association of Practising Accountants (of which Shipleys is a member) has found more business resilience but also significant challenges ahead.
8 September 2020
Owner managed businesses who have survived the last six months are now more resilient but still face significant challenge and are having to adapt. Research among 615 of these businesses across the UK carried out by the APA in August and September suggests that:
- 82% are confident that they have the access to finance they need to get back up and running
- 72% are confident they will be able to retain furloughed staff once Government funding ends
- Only 7% see Government support being withdrawn as their biggest challenge
- 55% have at least three months cash in the bank up from 41% in April
- 23% reported turnover at lower than 50% of pre-lockdown levels down from 43% in April.
- 28% have less than 8 weeks cash in the bank
- 31% think it likely they will have to make redundancies in the next 3-6 months
- 16% have turnover of between 70% and 100% lower than before the lockdown was introduced
A new working model
Owner managers are also having to adapt the way they work:
- 49% are likely to make home working a permanent option for at least some of their staff while 56% see virtual meetings as the default option going forward.
- Across professional and financial services 76% of respondents indicated that they were likely to make home working a permanent option for at least some of their staff.
Finance still needed
The research also indicated strong support for a continuation of the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS):
- 63% of those who have applied felt the scheme worked well up from 33% in April
Download the 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. The survey reached out to the businesses that drive the real economy: the SMEs; the local and long-established firms that provide jobs and vital services to their communities. The research comprises responses from 14 business sectors across the 9 UK regions. It built on an earlier study which was published in April this year. You can read that study's findings here.
This latest survey was carried out among 615 owner managed businesses between 1st August and 2nd September. Commenting on the findings APA Chairman Martin Muirhead said:
“The impact of Covid-19 on the owner managed sector has been significant. Nonetheless what our latest research suggests is that those businesses who have survived are now generally more resilient.
“However, we are not yet out of the woods with over 30% of these businesses likely to have to make redundancies in the next 3-6 months and 28% with less than 12 weeks cash in the bank. As drivers of jobs and growth across the real economy these businesses continue to need clear direction and support from Government as the economy gets back up and running.”
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.
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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