Two in five small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) anticipate chalking up a loss this year, but are optimistic about returning to profit in the months to come.
Alongside this, only one in five SMEs expect to make a profit, with nearly a quarter (24%) expecting to break even, according to research by UK investment holding company MBH Corporation (M8H.DU).
Of the 40% of companies that do anticipate making a loss in 2020, more than half (57%) are confident they will be back in profit by 2022 and just under half of those expect a return to profitability as soon as next year.
Only 5% of the 306 SME owners surveyed said they anticipate never returning to profit. 18% of those surveyed said they “don’t know” when a return to profitability might come.
Callum Laing, CEO of MBH Corporation, said: “Small business owners are an optimistic lot when it comes to the future.
“The UK has many successful and well-run businesses that will not only survive this crisis but come out the other side stronger.
Laing said that many of the businesses MBH had spoken to for the survey had survived the global financial crisis, so were confident they could survive this crisis too.
READ MORE: Geek Retreat to open 14 new shops creating 110 jobs
SMEs have held their own in recent months amid a challenging backdrop of a potential no-deal Brexit on the horizon and COVID-19 shutdowns.
Many SMEs in the UK were left worried in September as cash from the government’s Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS) ran low. The deadline for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) was at the end of September.
According to research by Market Finance, over 1.2 million (39%) SMEs took on a BBLS to pay their suppliers, with 29% of firms bolstering their business by setting up e-commerce and online shopping channels.
As 2020 draw to a close, two-thirds of small firms believe that a no-deal exit presents huge risks for their business. With most of them concerned about available workforce, not having the information to guide them on how to do business and the impact on supply chains at borders.
Watch: Why UK tax hikes seem inevitable