SME Owners Seem Confident About Their Operations Post-Elections, Survey Finds

Small business owners across the UK are showing surprising enthusiasm, after the previous economic hold backs. According to a survey from SumUp, about 35.9% of them are confident about the next year. This optimism comes as the country starts to slowly recover.

Corin Camenisch, Product Marketing Lead at SumUp, commented on the survey: “As champions for small merchants, we conducted this survey to discover the confidence levels of small business owners and decision makers in the UK. We aimed to better understand their difficulties, gauge their outlook on the coming year, and find areas where support for SMEs might be needed.”


Business Owners Confident About The Future


The survey shows that the recent general election hasn’t greatly affected small businesses. About 27% of business owners reported feeling neutral about the election’s outcome, while only 19% believe it will change their operations. This indicates that political changes are not a major issue for most business owners. “Overall, confidence levels of small business owners and decision makers across the UK are high. This positive outlook suggests that small merchants are prepared to navigate uncertainties and continue to thrive,” Camenisch added.

41% of business owners believe that adopting new technology is essential for improving efficiency and overall service, and with them doing so, they remain competitive in the markets.

Why Are Businesses Confident?

According to the SumUp survey, businesses are confident due to the gradual economic recovery, with inflation at its lowest in recent years. This typically leads to increased consumer spending, which benefits businesses. The survey also indicates that businesses are adapting better to economic and political changes.

Nick Gold, Managing Director at Speakers Corner, commented, “The election is done and dusted, and the inevitable result happened. In a world of continued uncertainty, this is the most certain business environment the UK has seen in almost a decade. The early election allows politicians, the business world, and possibly the country as a whole to take stock and look ahead with a greater sense of stability.”

He continues, “The stability isn’t ignoring the world’s instability but reflects a belief that while there are many hurdles for the business world and the new government, the uncertainty from political instability is being set aside for the time being.”


What Do Businesses Struggle With?

The survey observes, “Most respondents said that the biggest challenge they are currently facing is the economy, with over two-fifths (42%) of participants agreeing that inflation and rising costs including raw materials and stock have impacted the confidence in their business. Similarly, 41% said that they were struggling with the cost of bills and necessary investments such as rental costs, energy and new machinery.”

Michael Baron, Commercial Director of BWS speaks about possible new opportunities and challenges depending on the election outcome. Key areas of focus for businesses include:
Economic policies

There could be changes on the horizon with regards to corporate tax rates and reliefs, which could impact business profits and investment strategies. If regulations undergo some modifications, especially in the post-Brexit era, this could influence business operations across different sectors. There may also be changes to the availability of government funding and grants for businesses, particularly when it comes to innovation and green technologies.

Trade and international relations

New trade deals or revisions to existing ones will affect export and import strategies, especially with major trading partners like the EU and the US. Any adjustments in trade barriers and tariffs may have an impact on supply chain logistics and costs, potentially having a knock-on effect for the British manufacturing industry and wider economy. With immigration laws – one of the most hotly debated topics – changes to this area will likely affect the availability of both skilled and unskilled labour. Leading on from that, changes to labour laws – such as minimum wage and worker rights – will influence employment costs and business practices.

Innovation and technology

There’s a chance we’ll see an increased government focus on digital infrastructure and innovation, which may offer wider opportunities for tech-based businesses to get involved with the public sector. Further to this, a wider emphasis on sustainable practices and green technology could provide incentives and create new market opportunities.

Financial market

Economic policies and legislation changes that affect interest rates and financial regulations will have an influence on access to capital and investments for businesses large and small. Political stability and investor confidence in a post-election landscape can drastically impact market conditions.