Confidence among small business owners in the South West has fallen again. OUr national survey, which was carried out at the end of December 2020 before the lockdown restrictions started, revealed the second lowest confidence figures in the ten-year history of the FSB report. The only figures that were worse were recorded during the first major lockdown in the spring of 2020.
The survey revealed that around five per cent of the firms questioned across the UK say they expect to close this year – which, if represented across the whole SME community, could see 250,000 small businesses shut in 2021. In the South West more than half of those surveyed said they had seen profits decrease in the final quarter of 2020 with even more expecting them to fall in the coming three months. And, in employment terms, nearly one in four South West small businesses said they had reduced their workforce between October and December.