15% of owner managed businesses still in survival mode with 1.85 million employees at risk of redundancy

Published by Helen Bogie on 3 June 2021

Share this article

Owner-managed businesses coming out of the third lockdown are still struggling with the impact of Covid-19 and an uncertain economic outlook, reports our survey.

Download the full report

The survey of 435 businesses conducted by Kreston Reeves and the Association of Practicing Accountants found:

  • 11% reported that it is likely they will have to make redundancies in the next 3-6 months, putting a potential 1.85 million jobs at risk across the UK.
  • 24% reported a negative or very negative impact on their business since the UK left the EU.
  • 53% of respondents identified uncertain trading conditions as their biggest single challenge.
  • 15% cited Brexit supply chain issues as their single biggest challenge.


  • 84% of respondents reported that they were either confident or somewhat confident that they would be able to access the finance that they needed over the next six months, with anecdotal evidence suggesting that the major banks were continuing to lend.
  • Longer term, 54% were more positive about their economic prospects outside the EU while 46% were less positive.

Commenting on the findings Andrew Tate, Partner and Head of Restructuring at Kreston Reeves said: “It is clear from our research that a significant minority of owner managed businesses who have managed to pull through the last 12 months are still in survival mode with uncertain trading conditions being the biggest concern to a majority.

“Nonetheless, there is also evidence to suggest that those businesses that have managed to weather the impact of Covid-19 are now more resilient and that existing and proposed Government support measures have generally been well received.

Nigel Fright, Managing Partner adds: “Over the coming months it is vital that Government maintains a flexible and targeted approach to business support focusing resource on those sectors where there is the greatest need. Owner managed businesses form the backbone of the UK economy and need continued, targeted support as we emerge from this third lockdown.”

Download the full report

Share this article

Email Helen

    • yes I have read the privacy notice and am happy for Kreston Reeves to use my information

    Related people

    Email Andrew

      • yes I have read the privacy notice and am happy for Kreston Reeves to use my information

      Email Nigel

        • yes I have read the privacy notice and am happy for Kreston Reeves to use my information

        View teamSubscribe

        Subscribe to our newsletters

        Our complimentary newsletters and event invitations are designed to provide you with regular updates, insight and guidance.

          • Business, finance and tax issuesPersonal finance, tax, legal and wealth management issuesInternational business issuesCharity and not-for-profit issues

          • Academies and educationAgricultureFinancial servicesLife sciencesManufacturingProfessional practicesProperty and constructionTechnology

          • yes I agree I have read and accept the privacy policy and am happy for Kreston Reeves email communications I have selected above

          You can unsubscribe from our email communications at any time by emailing [email protected] or by clicking the 'unsubscribe' link found on all our email newsletters and event invitations.