Thursday 27 May 2021 9:00 am

Covid: London SMEs lost around £100,000 more than businesses elsewhere in the UK

It is safe to say that UK SMEs have taken a large blow to finances since the Covid-19 pandemic closed shop doors, with 82 per cent feeling the tightening purse strings, according to freelance platform Fiverr.

On average, UK SMEs have lost just under £192,000 in revenue in the last 12 months – while just over 1 in 10 lost half a million pounds or more. 

The study, which surveyed over 1,000 owners and senior staff in UK SMEs, revealed that companies based in Greater London swallowed around £100,000 more losses to revenue than businesses elsewhere in the UK.

With an average revenue loss of £328,813.29, Greater London SMEs have had a tough year. While the West Midlands, the region with the second-highest losses, averaged at £229,462.36 in shortfalls.

“In the past year, it’s clear that SMEs have suffered – the financial loss is just the surface,” vice president of international expansion at Fiverr, Peggy de Lange, said.

Northern Ireland and the South West, although still a hefty blow for small businesses, ranked the best regions in terms of minimised pandemic costs – losing £81,807.34 and £116,444.58 in revenue respectively.

Firms in the Architecture, Engineering and Building industry suffered the most during the pandemic, according to the data, with around £316,892 of revenue lost to restrictions.

Manufacturing and utilities, followed by finance SMEs, were struck by some of the highest revenue deficits, missing out on around £276,255.97 and £238,547.10 respectively.

Businesses within education and healthcare, although not completely unscathed, were among the SMEs who missed out on the least, as they reported losses of an estimated £133,056.66 and £164,026.46 respectively.

Fiverr’s data showed that 30 per cent of SME leaders surveyed said that they were negatively impacted by the pandemic. However, over half felt that the government handled the coronavirus pandemic well, while 29 per cent felt the government handled it poorly. 

Despite the financial challenges for smaller businesses, Fiverr found that the struggle has pushed 42 per cent to begin selling to new regions. 

Meanwhile, 56 per cent of businesses have unearthed new revenue streams – with 76 per cent of this group agreeing that these new revenue streams have bolstered their finances enough to replace the revenue that was lost to Covid-19.