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“Black Friday has become an increasingly popular shopping window ahead of the festive season. While spending is expected to reduce slightly amidst the cost of living crisis, Brits are still expected to spend over £2 billion this Black Friday weekend and a further £2 billion on Cyber Monday.

“The timing could not be more critical for small business owners, many of whom will be banking on the upcoming Christmas trading period for a much-needed boost. For more than a third, the festive trading period accounts for over 20% of their annual revenue.

“Amidst a cost of living crisis, when so many are still in recovery mode from the £126.6 billion impact of the pandemic, this Christmas is – quite simply – a lifeline for small businesses.

“Small businesses account for 99% of all British businesses, contributing trillions of pounds a year in turnover. The recovery of our economy and communities is directly linked to their success.

“So as Black Friday approaches, we’re urging people to spend their money with small businesses. Your purchases will have a direct positive impact on the lives of our country’s self-employed at a time when it’s never been more critical. We should support small businesses all year round, and there’s no better time to start than during this festive period.”

On Black Friday & Christmas trading:

  • Over a third of small businesses make over 20% of their annual income in this crucial festive period
  • Two thirds (60%) of small business owners state a good festive season would be a lifeline for their business, helping to survive the year ahead – with many still recovering extensive losses from the devastating impact of Covid-19
  • Owners say their biggest challenges at Christmas are attracting enough customers (21%) and therefore earning enough to keep their operation alive into the New Year (17%)

Key findings from Simply Business SME Insights report include:

  • Over half (54%) of SME owners say rising fuel and energy costs are one of their greatest threats to survival
  • 70% of SME owners also say that rising costs across the board are their biggest challenge this year
  • Small business owners are facing a number of pressing challenges – rising fuel and energy bills, attracting enough customers, and tax and national insurance hikes are all causing a strain
  • Pandemic losses are still widespread – 87% of small business owners lost an average of £20,981 each over the last two years, with many still suffering financially. The total cost of Covid-19 now sits at £109.6 billion – with one in six (16%) believing they will never recover financially from the pandemic

Notes to editors:

SME Insights Report: Survey of 1,013 SME owners from across the UK, conducted May 2022

Christmas data: Survey of 587 small business owners from across the UK, conducted November 2021

How did we calculate the £109.6 billion figure?

Separate data on the cost of Covid-19 from March 2022: Survey of 571 small business owners from across the UK, conducted in March 2022.

March 2022: 87.04% of SMEs say they are still losing money from the pandemic.

Out of the 6 million UK SMEs, this equates to 5,222,400 SMEs still impacted.

We asked small businesses how much they estimate the coronavirus pandemic will cost them in total, including lost earnings, jobs, revenue and loan repayments. The weighted average of this cost is £20,981.

£20,981 multiplied by the 5,222,400 SMEs in the UK still affected = £109,574,882,304

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