The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Covid-19 pandemic hits SMEs the worst


Small and medium-sized enterprise­s (SMEs) in London, Scotland and north-east England are the worst affected by Covid-19, according to new research by small business insurer Simply Business.

Its SME Confidence Report sums up responses from 3,700 SME owners throughout the UK in an attempt to measure the impact of coronaviru­s on small businesses.

Simply Business found that in London the pandemic will cost SMEs £17,074 each on average in lost work, earnings and loan repayments.

In Scotland – whose private sector recorded one of the deepest

“It’s essential for economy that small businesses bounce back”

slumps in business activity in the UK last month – SMEs are facing an average cost of £15,484 from the coronaviru­s, the study found.

SMEs in north-east England are facing the third highest average cost of £15,040 each, the report said.

At the other end of the scale, SMEs in south-west England are typically facing a cost of £10,989.60.

Across the whole of the UK, the total cost of coronaviru­s to SMEs will exceed £69 billion, averaging £11,779 per firm, the report said.

An estimated 234,000 UK SMEs have shut for good, due to the cornoaviru­s, while two thirds (67%) have temporaril­y ceased trading.

Simply Business UK chief executive Alan Thomas said: “Covid-19 has had a significan­t impact on SMEs and small business owners up and down the country, with many being forced to sadly close. It’s essential for our economy that small business bounces back.”

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