Our Xero Small Business Insights (XSBI) data reveals trends relating to the recovery of the UK’s small business economy following the impact of COVID-19. The September data shows positive signs for some industries, however there are overall losses for jobs and revenue.

After an initial recovery from the trough of -24% year-on-year revenue set in May, small business revenues were 9.2% below September 2019 levels. While arts and recreation and hospitality continue to be the hardest hit industries, manufacturing and information, and media and communications have both seen positive annual revenue growth of 4% and 1% respectively. 

Small business jobs have declined 1.8% in September, marking the fifth fall in the past six months. However, some industries saw growth in jobs for September with information, media and communications growing 6.7%, retail trade up 3.5% and professional services 2.9% better off than in March. 

Looking at the regions, Northern Ireland is showing the most positive growth, with a 1.9% increase in jobs since March. Compared to a year ago, all UK regions have experienced falls in revenue. Even London, which has performed better than other areas since the beginning of the pandemic, has recorded revenue losses of 14% year-on-year. 

As new restrictions come into place during the winter months, XSBI data will continue to prove critical to understanding the impact to small businesses across the UK. 

For more information about Xero’s Roadmap to Recovery manifesto, visit www.xero.com/behindsmallbusiness

To see more insights about this month’s data, please see our September update, and if you’d like to see comparative insights across Australia, the UK and New Zealand, please see our XSBI website.