SMEs optimistic over recovery Research from digital bank Starling and the Great British Entrepreneur Awards shows that 80% of UK SMEs are confident they will recover from the coronavirus crisis. Optimism has increased among business leaders, with 75% of SME owners polled saying they feel more confident than they did a month ago. Some 68% believe they will return to pre-crisis levels or better by 2021. On the financial hit from the pandemic, it was found that 63% of SMEs have seen a decline in revenue, with 19% making no profit at all during lockdown. Just over a fifth of firms are not confident they can pay their bills each month, while 30% of bosses have used their own money to keep the business afloat. One in five of the 314 small business leaders polled have considered closing as a result of the pandemic.