19 October 2021

A quarter of business owners feel 'more prepared than ever' to guide their companies to success following the pandemic. 

Research of 1,000 small-to-medium enterprise owners found 35 per cent managed to navigate the last 18 months better than they had expected.

Despite the challenges they faced, on average small businesses have grown by 6.2 per cent.

Spotting a new gap in the market, a strong social presence and online sales have been key growth drivers for many, while 24 per cent are experiencing more demand now than they were pre-pandemic.

To keep ahead of the game in future, a quarter have started putting funds aside in case there are further lockdowns or world-changing scenarios.

Three quarters of small businesses were able to get by without relying on the government furlough scheme.

Just under a fifth of those who did have to furlough staff now have all their team members back working – and a tenth have even taken on new recruits.

Almost nine in 10 (86 per cent) of the SME owners polled managed to get through the entire pandemic without making any redundancies.    

As business owners reflect on the last eighteen months, it’s welcome to hear their experience has better-equipped them to handle any obstacles which may lie ahead.

With the economy not quite out of the woods, the UK’s small businesses will continue to play a vital role in powering the recovery, and it’s exciting to see their confidence and optimism resulting in so many plans to expand and grow

Lisa Jacobs

UK Managing Director at Funding Circle, who commissioned the study into the state of the nation’s businesses


Over the next 12 months, a third will be taking the opportunity to reach a totally new customer base, and 29 per cent will be growing their online sales.

Just under a quarter (23 per cent) plan to launch new products, and one in four have plans to upgrade their social media presence.

But 27 per cent worry about making enough profit to keep up with their overheads, according to the OnePoll figures.

30 per cent are also concerned about the rising costs of inflation, while 15 per cent expect the shortage of lorry drivers to cause stock delays.


For more information:

Funding Circle: press@fundingcircle.com; +44 (0) 203 667 2245

Notes to editors

About Funding Circle

Funding Circle is the UK’s largest loan platform for SMEs. Founded in 2010, its market-leading and unparalleled Instant Decision Lending technology enables small businesses to apply for finance in an average of six minutes, with lending decisions in just nine seconds. A wide range of investors are utilising this technology and distribution platform to lend more than £13 billion to approximately 120,000 businesses globally. This is providing small businesses with the fast and simple access finance they need to grow and power the economy.