Majority of Edinburgh SMEs 'have shown real resilience in face of pandemic'

Edinburgh’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) believe sheer hard work, flexibility, and the willingness to adapt have been key to their resilience during the pandemic, according to a new survey.

The new national study from Sky Connect, Sky’s new business-to-business telecoms business, recorded the views of more than 2,000 UK SMEs, and revealed that 77 per cent of those in Edinburgh think they have shown resilience at its best over the past year.

Sky Connect said the pandemic has had a varied effect on smaller firms in the Scottish capital, with 29 per cent feeling hopeful and 25 per cent feeling worried over the past year. In addition, 72 per cent noted that they have had to adapt their business during the pandemic. However, during this time, Edinburgh’s firms have joined forces to help survive, with nearly two thirds lending a helping hand to other companies in need.

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Edinburgh’s SMEs described their local area as 'optimistic, hard-working and excited'. Picture: Ian Georgeson.
Edinburgh’s SMEs described their local area as 'optimistic, hard-working and excited'. Picture: Ian Georgeson.
Edinburgh’s SMEs described their local area as 'optimistic, hard-working and excited'. Picture: Ian Georgeson.
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Sky connect MD Kevin O’Toole said: “These are tough times. But it’s testament to Edinburgh’s resilience that many of the city’s smallest businesses are among the most adaptable – and the most optimistic about the future. At Sky Connect, we believe that small businesses deserve better and should be provided with as much support, and the best tools as possible to grow and recover."

The study found that 75 per cent of Edinburgh’s SMEs are currently feeling optimistic about their business, with 65 per cent more optimistic than this time last year. A third feel more resilient now that they can get more business done, thanks to lockdown restrictions easing. Edinburgh’s SMEs also described their local area as “optimistic, hard-working and excited”.

Mike Cherry, national chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Sky Connect’s research shines a new light on how small businesses have coped through Covid and the public health restrictions. The resilience of the country’s six million small business owners has never been more on display than it has during this pandemic.

"Small firms helped each other, engaged in their local communities, and did their bit to get through to the other side of the crisis. After incredibly tough times, confidence and optimism among small businesses is now bouncing back. They are ready to innovate, reinvent themselves, connect to customers and drive the recovery.”

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