A year after the first lockdown in the UK, a study by insurance provider Simply Business has suggested that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on UK businesses could exceed £126 billion.

The 1,200 small businesses surveyed revealed it would cost them £22,461 on average, with 10% estimating a cost impact of more than £50,000. In recouping the money lost during the pandemic, the majority predict it will take anywhere from 18 months to three years to get back the money lost.

As we move towards lockdown restrictions ending, 14% said they expected trading to return to pre-pandemic levels before the end of the year, with 25% believing that business would be back to normal by spring/summer 2022. 840,000 SMEs are not sure their business will ever return to pre-pandemic trading levels.

Alan Thomas, Simply Business UK CEO, said: “No business, big or small, has been able to escape the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic – with 12 months of restrictions, lockdowns, and uncertainty always likely to take its toll.”

He added: “While the government support packages have proven a lifeline to many small businesses through the pandemic, our research reveals that 81 per cent of self-employed people feel it hasn’t been enough – with over two million SMEs unable to access any financial support.

“Yet in all of this, we have seen countless examples of the resilience, resourcefulness, and creativity that we have come to associate with the UK’s small business owners.”

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