Research Shows Sole Traders Were Hit Hardest by Covid Pandemic

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Research Shows Sole Traders Were Hit Hardest by Covid Pandemic

Even as COVID restrictions ease, almost 60% of sole traders are still trading less, or not at all.

Sole traders have been disproportionately affected by Covid restrictions, with 58 per cent either not trading or trading less than pre-Covid.

Furthermore, sole traders, who make up 59 per cent of all businesses in the UK, are twice as likely to have completely ceased trading, with 14 per cent in this situation compared with only 7 per cent of limited companies.

Around half of sole traders (46 per cent) have concerns that they will be unable to pay themselves a salary in the upcoming six months, according to new research from small business lender iwoca.

The second biggest worry is being unable to afford new stock (28 per cent) and then repaying emergency Covid-19 financials help, such as a Bounce Back Loan (20 per cent).

It’s estimated that almost a quarter of sole traders won’t take a single day off in the next year, as they will struggle to keep their businesses afloat. Even 60% of sole traders have already planned to take less than 10 days off over the upcoming year (compared to 50% of limited companies).

Although a quarter of limited companies have reported making fewer sales due to Covid-secure workplace measures, this rises to almost one-third (32 per cent) for sole traders.

Nearly 4 in 10 sole traders (39 per cent) say they have hade fewer customers through their doors due to staying Covid-secure, compared with 29 per cent of limited companies.

Seema Desai, chief operating officer of iwoca, has commented: “The pandemic has hit sole traders particularly hard. We need our sole traders back on their feet.”

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