82% of UK businesses took Covid-19 financial hit, an average of £192,000 per company

  • Greater London hit the worst by COVID-19, losing £328,813 in revenue on average 
  • 50% of UK SMEs have already, or would consider converting cash assets into cryptocurrency
  • 56% of businesses have discovered new revenue streams


82% of UK SMEs have taken a financial hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic Since the beginning of the pandemic, on average UK SMEs have lost just under £192,000 in revenue. With more than 1 in 10 (13%) losing half a million pounds or more, according to new data from freelance platform Fiverr (NYSE:FVRR).

The study, which surveyed over 1,000 UK owners and senior DMs in SMEs reveals the Architecture, Engineering & Building industry suffered severely during the pandemic – £316,892 of revenue on average was lost. The data also reveals that Greater London is the region that lost the most money because of COVID.

30% of SME leaders surveyed say that they were negatively impacted by the pandemic but over half (52%) feel that the UK Government handled the coronavirus pandemic well. 29% felt the Government handled the pandemic badly.


Industries most to least affected by COVID-19

Industry Average Estimated Loss
Architecture, Engineering & Building £316,891.93
Manufacturing & Utilities £276,255.97
Finance £238,547.10
Sales, Media & Marketing £215,622.02
Arts & Culture £211,357.59
IT & Telecoms £201,370.77
Retail, Catering & Leisure £166,511.01
Healthcare £164,026.46
Education £133,056.66
Other £112,268.37


The cost of COVID-19 by region

Region` Average Estimated Loss
Greater London £328,813.29
West Midlands £229,462.36
North East £216,460.13
South East £205,983.01
East of England £200,835.88
North West £161,968.31
East Midlands £152,623.51
Wales £145,045.95
Scotland £143,170.48
Yorkshire and the Humber £138,188.73
South West £116,444.58
Northern Ireland £81,807.34


It’s Not All Bad – Majority of UK SMEs Found New Revenue Streams

According to the research, despite the challenges brought by COVID-19, it has not stopped the growth of UK SMEs – 42% have started selling to new regions.

56% of businesses have discovered new revenue streams and 76% of this group say these new revenue streams have been enough to replace lost revenue as a result of COVID-19. In fact, over 1 in 5 (21%) reported that the new revenue streams exceeded their old ones.


Brave New World: UK Businesses Dabble with CryptoCurrency

Shock to the system caused by COVID has seen British entrepreneurs considering digital currencies as an alternative to cash.

30% of UK SMEs would consider converting cash assets into cryptocurrency – and 19% already have.

In the past year, the IT & Telecoms industry has been one of the biggest players in the digital currency space with 74% of respondents operating in the sector claiming they would either consider it or have already made moves to convert cash to cryptocurrency. Those operating in the Sales, Media & Marketing industry also showed willingness toward cryptocurrency with 60% expressing the same sentiment.

Medium-sized businesses are the most likely to dabble with crypto, as just over 1 in 4 (26%) of those turning over £250,000 – £499,999 have already converted some of the cash on their books into digital money.


Peggy de Lange, Vice President of International Expansion at Fiverr comments: “In the past year, it’s clear that SMEs have suffered – the financial loss is just the surface. It’s been inspiring to see how they continue to demonstrate resilience and agility through finding new revenue streams and being flexible to overcome the pressures COVID-19 has put on them. UK SMEs have also been exploring digital currencies as so many have been open to cryptocurrency – another avenue for businesses to grow and leverage the digital world to bounce back after the pandemic.



Fiverr and Censuswide conducted this research between 30.03.21 – 15.04.21.  Censuswide surveyed 1,008 UK owners and senior DMs in SMEs, including 52 sole traders. The results also show a regional breakdown across 11 cities across the UK. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.