To the casual observer, it may seem that the worst of the well-documented problems afflicting UK businesses over recent years have passed. The vaccination programme has helped bring about an end to damaging lockdowns and the tumult of the drawn-out Brexit process is finally over.
However, the reality for many businesses in the UK, particularly small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) is that the worst effects of these twin crises are only just beginning to be felt. As we head into yet another uncertain autumn and winter, many SMEs are suffering from mounting debts and severely reduced cashflow – issues both directly related to COVID-19 and Brexit.
These problems are creating a situation in which totally viable SMEs, some with extremely high potential, are teetering on the brink of (or already deeply mired in) financial distress. Adding to the pressure on small business owners is the fact that this is occurring alongside the gradual withdrawal of COVID-related safety nets.
Aside from Brexit and the pandemic, however, the current struggles of SMEs are also exacerbating long-standing issues that have been plaguing the market in recent years. For parties with the capital and appetite to do deals, this scenario looks certain to create a raft of exciting acquisition opportunities (both distressed and otherwise) over the coming months.
What are the issues facing SMEs
Conclusion – Distress and frustration spell opportunity
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