The coronavirus pandemic has turned the entire world upside down in 2020 and impacted just about every aspect of modern life. It has created wide-ranging issues for all businesses in the UK, along with Europe and the US, but especially for SMEs. They have found it hard to survive, with many sadly having to fold as a result of the pandemic. While some businesses have not made it, there are, however, many that are managing to cope and able to adapt to the fast-changing situation.
Of course, one of the main ways that SMEs are managing due to the coronavirus outbreak is through Government support. This includes the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme which provides up to £5 million for qualifying businesses with the Government guaranteeing that lenders will get back over 80% if the borrower is unable to repay. Additionally, the Job Retention Scheme allows businesses to continue paying staff for those that would otherwise have lost their job as a result of the crisis.
As outlined in this Parcel2Go blog, SMEs have also had to adapt and find ways to succeed during a time where people are in lockdown. This means that many businesses have had to find ways to provide a digital service. This might include shopkeepers accepting online payments, mechanics going mobile, suppliers now selling directly to customers, and using courier comparison sites to find the best delivery companies that can provide a safe service.
Of course, another way that businesses have had to adapt to survive is with remote working so that staff can continue to work safely and abide by Government rules. Remote working was on the rise prior to the pandemic so many were well-prepared for this, but it is important that people know how to manage remote teams and have the best technology available to make it easy for work to continue as normal. Remote working can bring many benefits to the business and employee, so it is easy to see many firms in many industries continue to embrace remote working when things start to return to normal.
In addition to Government support, there are also emergency programmes available for small businesses which can provide both financial and professional support. This can help small businesses to stay afloat financially, but also learn the best ways to adapt and prepare their business for success in a post-covid-19 marketplace.
It has been a challenging time for SMEs in the UK to survive during the pandemic, but many are managing to survive through a combination of support and through entrepreneurial-spirit and innovation with many businesses finding smart ways to survive and continue to provide a product/service for their target customer even during these challenging times.