Report: The impact of COVID-19 on owner managed businesses

Lubbock Fine, 15 September 2020

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Owner managed businesses who have survived the COVID-19 crisis are now more resilient, but still face significant challenges and are having to adapt, according to new research co-commissioned by Lubbock Fine and the Association of Practising Accountants (APA).

A survey among 615 owner managers across the UK found that:

  • 82% are confident that they have the access to finance they need to get back up and running
  • 72% are confident they will be able to retain furloughed staff once Government funding ends
  • Only 7% see Government support being withdrawn as their biggest challenge
  • 55% have at least three months cash in the bank up from 41% in April
  • 23% reported turnover at lower than 50% of pre-lockdown levels down from 43% in April.


  • 28% have less than 8 weeks cash in the bank
  • 31% think it likely they will have to make redundancies in the next 3-6 months
  • 16% have turnover of between 70% and 100% lower than before the lockdown was introduced

Owner managers are also having to adapt the way they work:

  • 49% are likely to make home working a permanent option for at least some of their staff while 56% see virtual meetings as the default option going forward.           
  • Across professional and financial services 76% of respondents indicated that they were likely to make home working a permanent option for at least some of their staff. 

The research also indicated strong support for a continuation of the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS):

  • 63% of those who have applied felt the scheme worked well up from 33% in April

Commenting on the findings, Mark Turner, Managing Partner at Lubbock Fine, said:

“After a turbulent year, these research findings indicate light at the end of the tunnel for owner managed businesses, but also show the substantial challenges they face on the road to recovery.

As accountants and business advisers, we have seen first-hand the impact on these businesses and the difficult decisions faced by leaders.

It’s now essential for owner managers to remain vigilant and agile over the coming months, not only by setting out plans for business recovery, but also making contingency plans for further lockdown measures. For many, Government support will continue to play a critical role in ensuring long-term viability and survival.”

Read the full report here

How can we help?

If your business needs guidance or assistance on any of the above issues, please get in touch with Mark Turner, Managing Partner ( or your usual Lubbock Fine contact.

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