Small and medium enterprises (SME) are slowly regaining confidence after a stronger than expected second-quarter performance, according to new data from Barclaycard.
At the start of April, Barclaycard reports, SMEs predicted a 28% decline for the quarter.
Now that Q2 is over, however, the research reveals the average reported loss was half as severe as predicted at only 14%.
The Q2 performance has led to a boost in optimism, with index scores jumping from 79 out of a possible 200 points at the start of Q2, to 95 points at the start of Q3. This reflects a 16-point jump in optimism.
SMEs are also being proactive in their recover, Barclaycard reported, with four in five planning to invest over the next 12 months – up from two thirds last quarter.
Sectors that rely on card payments over £45 – so cannot make use of contactless payments – are only now starting to see recovery, the report said.
Businesses have had to take some drastic measures in order to cut their losses, however.
Over a quarter of small businesses have had to let staff go, while this number nearly doubles for medium enterprises.