Small and medium enterprises (SME) tended to feel more confident heading into England’s second national lockdown, according to recent research by Barclaycard.
This is based on the latest Barclaycard SME Barometer, which found that two thirds (66%) of small or medium businesses believed they were more prepared this time around.
Respondents said that they believed they knew what to expect more than they did when the first lockdown hit in March.
The top reasons cited for increased confidence were: mental preparation (36%), the changes they’ve made to their business to make it more resilient (32%), and the government support in place (14%).
It also found that just under half (45%) of SMEs have increased their online presence in order to tap into the shift to e-commerce while bricks-and-mortar retail is closed.
A promising finding is that nearly three quarters (74%) of business owners are planning to invest back into their business next year.
Popular reasons to invest were marketing (29%), new equipment or technology (28%), and improvements to home-working (22%).
Konrad Kelling, head of small business, Barclaycard Payments, said: “The past year has been incredibly difficult for SMEs across all sectors, so it’s reassuring to see that many have been able to take advantage of the lessons learned during the first lockdown to adapt their business ensuring that they are able to continue to serve their customers.
“At Barclaycard, we want to support all of our clients and are working closely with those impacted by current circumstances by providing care packages to help them navigate the challenges they face.”