More than half of Scots SMEs fearful for their business over next two years

More than half of smaller firms in Scotland are not confident about the future of their business over the next two years, according to new data.

The findings come from a survey commissioned by global retail bank, payments, and shopping service Klarna of more than 500 senior managers at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The research looked at specific issues leaders of such firms have faced during the Covid-19 pandemic, and “worryingly”, it found that 56 per cent said their goal for the following six months was simply to survive.

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The survey – which took place online between June 30 and July 11 – found that 57 per cent of Scottish respondents were not confident about the future of their business over the coming 24 months.

About 70% of Scottish SMEs said the pandemic has had a long-term negative impact on their business. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.
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Klarna added that businesses north of the Border have been hit “particularly” hard by the pandemic, with 69 per cent of SMEs stating that Covid-19 led to a longer-term negative impact on their organisation.

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More than four in ten at some point did not believe they would survive. While there are signs of recovery, so far 84 per cent of Scottish SMEs do not believe that their business has fully recovered from the impacts of the pandemic.

Klarna noted that it launched a new £3 million Small Business Support Package and Accelerator Programme to help UK SMEs recover from the pandemic.

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The firm has more than 90 million global active users and enables two million transactions a day, with its 250,000-plus global retail partners including H&M, Ikea, Samsung, Asos, Peloton, Nike and Shein. It has been backed by Sequoia Capital since 2010.

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