A royal Platinum Jubilee bounce is helping drive UK business ahead, as 60 per cent of SMEs expect to see a lift in revenues this quarter.

This is in comparison to same period last year, with the four days of celebrating the Queen’s 70 years on the throne helping growth this time, according to the latest quarterly Barclays SME Barometer survey.

The data not only shows growth in revenues but also a rise in confidence, with SMEs looking to increase recruitment.

The predicted boost in revenue is welcome news for small businesses who are facing a number of challenges including rising inflation, fuel and energy price increases and difficulty hiring staff.

Who is leading the revenue surge?

The survey says that driven by a surge in the hospitality and leisure industry, SMEs expect to see a 10.4 per cent rise between the months of April and June 2022, compared to the same period in 2021.

The hard-pressed hospitality and leisure sectors will more than treble those figures according to the survey with a predicted 34.7 per cent increase.

The survey also shows:

  • Nearly all SMEs, (87 per cent) say they are planning to invest in their businesses over the next 12 months.
  • Recruitment is a priority with 39 per cent planning to take an average of eight new staff per business recruiting.
  • Reskilling, new equipment and technology upgrades are planned by more than a quarter (27 per cent).

Despite an increasingly challenging trading environment, the generally good weather during celebrations has led to a predicted £76 million boost to independent pubs, bars, and restaurants with nearly half (49 per cent) of those that opened predicting a sales rise.

Payments to SMEs surge

In addition, payments to business via debit and credit cards is on the rise, with data from Barclaycard Payments showing a rise of 20 per cent in value and 35 per cent in volume of payments when measured against pre-pandemic levels.

The data was collected over the same first quarter by the firm, which processes one in three debit and credit card payments in the UK.

Colin O’Flaherty, head of SME at Barclaycard Payments, said: “After an exceptionally tough time for the hospitality and leisure sector, it’s encouraging to see that businesses have seen revenues rise over the last few months, despite a challenging economic climate.”

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