A quarter of business owners won’t buy Christmas presents this year, says iwoca

By Aisling Finn on Thursday 24 December 2020

Alternative Lending

Nearly a third of business owners are also planning to work on Christmas Day. 

A quarter of business owners won’t buy Christmas presents this year, says iwoca
Image source: Seema Desai/iwoca

Alternative lender iwoca has today revealed the extent to which the Covid-19 pandemic has tugged on the purse strings of the UK’s small business owners.

According to the SME lender, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of small business owners won’t be buying their loved ones presents this Christmas and over a third (35 per cent) won’t be buying presents at the same level as before the pandemic.

As well as feeling the pinch this Christmas, one in six small business owners are also gearing up to work on Christmas day and nearly a third (31 per cent) on Boxing Day, with ten per cent planning on working over the whole festive period.

Many SMEs are also concerned that their business will not survive in 2021, with nearly half (47 per cent) of female business owners and just over a third (35 per cent) of male business owners being worried about having to close up shop next year.

Seema Desai, chief operating officer of iwoca, said: “Christmas itself will, of course, be different for all of us, but it’s even more concerning that so many business owners are worried that they may not have a business to go back to in 2021.”

“Christmas won't be an easy time for many business owners this year as they juggle to keep their businesses afloat whilst some will try to spend quality time with their families or loved ones.”  

iwoca’s research shows that the festive period could be tougher on female-led businesses as they plan to work longer hours and spend less time with their families to make up for the Covid-19-related disruption.

Over Christmas, 41 per cent of female owners say they’ll spend less time with their families to work and 39 per cent of male business owners say the same. 

The alternative lender has dished out over £160m in Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) loans, with plans to lend over £200m before the scheme closes.

At the beginning of November, iwoca extended a lifeline to SMEs, making its buy-now-pay-later invoice tool free for all SMEs to help them get paid on time.

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