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UK small business data in June suggests sales recovery, but jobs continue to decline

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by Startacus Admin

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Xero and AlphaBeta analysis reveals the latest trends and insight into the impact of COVID-19 on the UK's small business economy

image 001Analysis released today by Xero, the global small business platform, and AlphaBeta(part of Accenture), reveals trends relating to the recovery of the UK’s small business economy following the impact of COVID-19, showing tentative improvements in revenue and payment times.

Based on anonymised and aggregated data from hundreds of thousands of Xero customers in the UK, Xero’s Small Business Insights (SBI) showed signs of recovery, with small business revenue improving by 11 per cent in June.

The data shows the construction and manufacturing sectors saw the most revenue improvement in June, whilst the hospitality and arts and recreation sectors experienced the lowest revenue improvement.

Despite signs of recovery being seen in revenue figures, job losses have continued. Employment dropped another 4 per cent in June, most UK regions shed jobs, with the East Midlands and the North West experiencing the biggest drops in employment between March and June.

How the UK data compares internationally

image 003The data shows the different stages of economic recovery between the UK, New Zealand and Australia - comparing how small businesses were impacted in each region.

New Zealand showed the strongest signs of recovery of the three countries so far, despite having the largest drop in revenue when lockdowns were introduced. Its revenues have rebounded strongly to now be similar to June 2019 levels.

Gary Turner, UK managing director of Xero, commented:

“This data suggests initial signs that the UK’s small business economy is starting to recover from the crisis. However, small businesses are yet to show signs of re-hiring in June, with many still subject to restricted trading conditions.

Despite some cautious signs of recovery, small businesses will need more guidance than ever as government support like the furlough scheme and bounce-back loans start to wind down. We’ll be working with our small business customers to help them navigate this next phase - ensuring they get the support they need both from their accountants and the government. ”

Xero has identified the key areas of Government support needed by small businesses in order to rebuild. The Roadmap to Recovery manifesto is part of Xero’s campaign to support small business recovery, and calls for the UK Government to meet the ‘levelling up’ agenda as part of its election promise.

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Published on: 29th July 2020

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