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SMBs 'can add billions' to UK GDP

(Image credit: Image Credit: Rawpixel / Pixabay)

UK’s small and medium-sized businesses could add more than $200 billion to the country’s GDP growth by 2024 and help the country’s economy recover after the Covid-19 pandemic. 

This is according to a new research report from Cisco and IDC, which polled businesses from Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, France, Mexico, United Kingdom, and the USA.

Looking at the results for the UK, the study showed how Covid-19 forced SMBs into a rapid digital transformation. More than half (58 percent) of UK small businesses said that the pandemic accelerated their digital transformation, with 93 percent of small businesses saying Covid-19 has made them rely on technology more heavily.

When it comes to challenges with digitization, culture seems to be the biggest roadblock. While almost half said they were thriving, scaling up or rebuilding and transforming, the highest reported challenge was a lack of digital mindset, with 15 percent reporting cultural challenges as their biggest roadblocks.

But despite all the roadblocks and challenges, SMBs will continue to invest. With increased digitization among SMBs, the UK could see $202 billion in added GDP growth. Almost 2 in 5 are planning to invest in solutions that help employees work remotely or automate core processes. A third plans to invest in technology to improve their decision-making processes.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the digital divide that was already present in the small business market, and it is forcing companies to accelerate their digitalization,” said Daniel-Zoe Jimenez, AVP, Head Digital Transformation & SMB research, at IDC.

“Small businesses are realizing that digitalization is no longer an option, but a matter of survival. While the research shows many small businesses are making progress, they should increase focus on digitalizing processes and operations through the use of digital technologies to ensure business continuity and future resiliency”.

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