Things are beginning to look up for SMEs in the UK, this is thanks to the continued support of the public and thanks to the vaccine rollout. What does data say in terms of improvements and what has been contributing to recovery?

Government initiatives
Businesses have been helped by government initiatives to help them keep afloat and stay alive during the pandemic. Where some industries have been unable to operate for most of the year, such as hospitality, travel and leisure, and nightclubs, the Small Business Leadership Programme has been able to show businesses and their managers how to adapt to the uncertain times and what to do post-covid to help their business thrive in a manner that is safe for everyone involved.

This project was funded by the government as part of a Covid-19 recovery strategy and was delivered to said small businesses via online courses across a period of 10 weeks.

An example of a business that took this advice and used it to its advantage is Bristol nightclub, Lakota.

Mr James Haggart, the managing director of the nightclub said in an interview with BBC news "Our nightclub is very much directed at 18 to 25-year-olds, so we've organised our outside events to cater for people who are aged 18 to 60 instead. The broader demographic will help us bring in the money that we need."

By widening their target audience, the business will have more chance of survival and gaining back the lost revenue over the past year as they will target a higher percentage of clientele.

Chance to change course
After a year of uncertainty, small to medium sized enterprises have been trying to develop new ways of working and strategizing their business. Now that the vaccine has began to roll out, it’s time to put these new ways of working into action.

The time away from the business has been beneficial to some as it’s allowed them to trial new products, optimise their websites and catch up with important things that they didn’t have time for before.
It’s now time for these businesses to come back stronger than ever and show their clientele what they are made of.

Support and growth as a business
As some businesses unfortunately had to cut back on costs and, as a result, downsize on their number of staff just to keep alive on the market, other businesses were able to thrive in different ways and take their business online, creating more demand than ever before.

This has resulted in these businesses needing more staff to keep up with the demand as well as growing as a company and being able to target a wider audience.

For the businesses that have been struggling, they have been able to apply for small business loans to get them over the hurdles and start reaping the revenue which they have lost over the past year.