Legal & General have recently released their "state of the nation" report. Their look into UK SMEs has found 57% are confident heading into 2022.

SMEs hopeful of bounce back in 2022 despite debt levels

Legal & General have recently released their "state of the nation" report. Their look into UK SMEs has found 57% are confident heading into 2022. This despite over ¾ of SMEs carrying debt into the year with them.


State of the Nation

The research into SMEs produced 3 main points regarding outlooks for 2022. Despite some concerns, the mood is positive among owners:

  • 57% have a positive financial outlook for 2022
  • 75% of SMEs are carrying some form of debt
    • This is up from 51% in 2019
  • 1/5 of SME owners’ biggest fear is going out of business through cashflow issues

The report signifies a cautious optimism as we approach the new financial year. While 2020/21 was incredibly difficult for many, there are signs of returning to normality. With restrictions lifted and the vaccine rollout in its latter stages, the UK seems ready to up its activity.

The Christmas period saw many larger retailers report strong performance. However, this wasn't echoed around the country as hospitality suffered what was labelled a "lost Christmas". The biggest influence Covid has had on many SMEs decision making is security for the future.

4 in 10 businesses reportedly wished they had acted sooner. Many businesses also feel they are open to business loans and arranging protection for the loss of key staff. 97% of SMEs reported to be engaged with professional advisers post pandemic. The likelihood of a worldwide pandemic like covid would have seemed highly improbable before 2019. With the world's experience over the last 2 years, it is likely attitudes have drastically changed to protection from threats.

Robert Betts, General & Legal Market Development Manager spoke of the report. He said "The past two years have been especially tough for small businesses. It spotlighted the need for a back-up plan. Businesses can no longer rely on government-backed schemes and easily accessible borrowing to protect against an unforeseen crisis."

Building despite debt

AYOM understands having debt alone is not negative. Debt in business is positive if it is funding growth. What makes any debt "bad debt" is when it becomes unpayable. With businesses showing more confidence, we hope this begins a better year for many. Debt recovery has experienced a busy time during the pandemic but while debts have increased, care must be taken.

AYOM's Managing Director spoke of the report and the state of UK businesses regarding debt. "While many businesses are carrying debt, we are certain the vast majority will in time fully repay."

"Not all businesses will be so lucky but for those cases we hope to work diligently to find repayment. We do our best to help keep the economy moving with payment of outstanding invoices. AYOM has several corporate UK businesses and thousands of SMEs on our books. This ensures we have substantial influence to help many business owners."

If your business has experienced non-payment AYOM can help. If your business has experienced non-payment AYOM can help. We can assist with:

  • Securing payments
  • Making contact
  • Tracing debtors
  • Mediating
  • Legal escalation

We aim to ensure all businesses get paid what they are due. With the help of an expert legal team to review cases, we can help chase and enforce any outstanding invoices.

If you’d like to speak to an adviser, we are available by calling 0800 130 3357 or emailing With award winning service and CSA-UK membership, we can ensure you have the best chance of repayment, in full.