More than 4.72 million British SMEs also trade internationally. However a quarter have had to slow or halt overseas trading due to the restrictions of the pandemic and Brexit. Looking at the impact of COVID-19 alone, UK SME exports have dropped by around 10% costing the economy up to £20 billion.
It is safe to say 2020 was an extremely difficult year for small businesses. Owners across a wide range of industries were forced to close their premises for long periods. Some had to place employees on furlough while others overcame technological obstacles to enable employees work from home where possible. These are actions few in the business community could have imagined previously.
Although vaccination roll outs are beginning across the world, there is a long way to go. It appears in the short term, 2021 will continue to challenge small business leaders before the long road to recovery begins: