The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on UK SMES and their response

ERC Insight paper

Associated Themes
  • Business Growth
  • COVID-19

We know the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic were severe for the UK in 2020, but what was the outcome for small- and medium-sized businesses?

A survey of over 1,000 UK SMEs carried out in the Autumn of 2020 provides some insights into the impact of the pandemic on key business metrics. In addition, it considers the response of SMEs in terms of strategy reprioritisation and adoption of new digital technologies.

While COVID-19 has been a major determinant of recent economic trends and the dominant challenge for most SMEs, the survey identifies other obstacles to business success, which are likely to influence the future outlook for the UK’s SME sector.