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Posted by Ros Connors

Small businesses braced for busiest Christmas in five years

Christmas is just around the corner, and according to Barclaycard Payments’ latest SME Barometer, this December is set to be the most successful festive seasons in five years for almost three in 10 (29 per cent) of the UK’s small businesses.

As the Christmas shopping rush gets underway, data from Barclaycard Payments – which processes £1 in every £3 spent using credit and debit cards in the UK and services over 350,000 SMEs – shows that in the three months up to 31 October, transaction volumes among this group were up 38.1 per cent (versus 2019)*. Additionally, year-on-year payments volumes are also showing strong growth – up 21.9 per cent across the board – with the retail, food & drink and leisure & entertainment sectors benefitting from 15.58 per cent, 27 per cent and 54 per cent uplifts respectively.

The majority of businesses also remain relatively confident (56 per cent) in the resilience of their supply chains, despite a small decline in sentiment compared to Q3 2021 (59 per cent). Reassuringly, as Christmas shopping peaks, over seven in 10 SMEs (71 per cent) have put measures in place to limit the impact of supply chain challenges, which includes 85 per cent of retailers when looking at specific sectors.

Ros spoke to independent business and consumer expert Kate Hardcastle.

Photo by Colin Watts on Unsplash

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