New research commissioned by MBH Corporation plc, reveals that 43% of SME owners and senior managers think government support for SMEs during the COVID-19 crisis has been good or excellent. Four out of ten (40%) describe its support as average and just 17% as poor. MBH is a UK headquartered listed diversified investment holding company that acquires successful, strong-performing small to medium enterprises across multiple geographies and sectors.
Part of the support provided by Government to SMEs has been for new loan schemes. Of the SME owners and senior managers interviewed by MBH Corporation, 38% said that their businesses took out loans offered by the Government. Only 24% said they found the process for doing this hard, and 11% said they borrowed over £50,000. 4% borrowed over £100,000.
In terms of when they plan to pay this back, 18% said within a year, and a further 18% said between one and two years. Only 3% said they anticipate it will take them over five years to do this, with 17% said they don’t ever expect to pay it back. Many businesses plan to repay these loans quickly because they are optimistic about their future. Indeed, MBH Corporation’s research reveals that 57% of those businesses that expect to make a loss this year anticipate they will be back in profit within 24 months.
In terms of the actions companies plan to take over the next 12 months because of the COVID-19 crisis, 27% expect to make redundancies. One in four anticipate having a recruitment freeze, while 13% say they will ask staff to take a pay cut. Some 7% don’t expect to survive and 13% anticipate closing part of their business. Some 6% anticipate they will have to sell their businesses.
Callum Laing, CEO of MBH Corporation plc: “Whilst there is no sugar coating for the effect the COVID-19 crisis has had on the small business ecosystem, it is pleasing to see how many were able to leverage off the government support and are positive about the way forward. Optimisim is an inherent trait of most small business owners and we’re seeing some incredible innovation as companies pivot to serve their clients best in these fluid times.
“We know that for many small business owners there have been many sleepless nights and tough conversations had over the past 6 months, but there are also plenty of businesses out there, not just in big tech, that have been able to find an angle and thrive during these fluid times. Many of the big companies of tomorrow will be ones that are really finding their feet today.”