2022: 7 predictions for small businesses – Simply Business knowledge


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4-minute read
Sam Bromley
10 December 2021
Small businesses have had it tough recently. But while uncertainty remains, the message we heard from the self-employed throughout 2021 was that you’re cautiously hopeful about the future.
What might 2022 bring? Here’s a collection of predictions from our own research and the latest headlines.
In April 2021, small business owners told us that they’re optimistic about what the future holds. Despite renewed uncertainty, 2022 has the potential to continue the UK’s recovery – and bring with it a greater focus on wellbeing.
Here’s what the self-employed told us last year about the future of their business and the economy:
And here’s what they said about boosting their wellbeing:
Does this give you inspiration for new beginnings this January? Have a look at our expert wellbeing resources for the self-employed and download our report for more on self-employed wellbeing.
Following coronavirus restrictions being lifted in July 2021, there were calls to boycott businesses that refuse to accept cash payments. Campaigns from Which? and Telegraph Money aimed to highlight the problems with going completely cashless before the country is ready.
While businesses appear to prefer digital payments, making sure people have access to cash protects some of the most vulnerable customers in society.
The shift to cashless has been accelerated by the pandemic, but this risks leaving these vulnerable customers behind. This will become a bigger topic in 2022.
What are your thoughts on the cash debate? Read more analysis and vote in our poll.
Download our cash flow forecast template to plan for the money you have coming in and out of your business (digital or otherwise).
When it comes to government financial help during coronavirus, in 2021 81 per cent of small businesses told us that they haven’t had enough support.
And with the available support winding down regardless, businesses may look to other sectors for grants and further funding in 2022.
You can have a look at our guide to the best small business grants to find out if any suit your business.
We’ve also run our own Business Boost cash grant for two years now. In 2021, we gave £25,000 to Brighton-based consultancy Watch This Sp_ce.
They’re focused on inclusion, happiness at work, and getting businesses ready for the future.
As the UK’s small businesses continue their recovery, our Business Boost grant will run in 2022, offering cash to help one self-employed person take their business to the next level.
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Simply Business research from November 2021 revealed that more than one third of people in the UK now run their own side hustle. Some savvy entrepreneurs even expect to make more than £5,000 each in additional income in the next year.
So side hustles show no sign of slowing down. Our survey highlighted that 31 per cent of people are thinking about setting up a side business but haven’t got it up and running yet, so expect to see more in 2022.
Read more about setting up and running a side business.
We've also previously reported on the fastest growing small business industries in the UK. Our research showed surges in outdoor market stall traders and caterers and home bakers between 2020-2021, likely as a result of businesses adapting to coronavirus restrictions. Will the number of outdoor market stall traders continue to grow in 2022?
Tax has been in the spotlight as the government looks at ways to pay for its coronavirus support package. Let’s focus on changes we know are being introduced in 2022:
And remember that the tax return deadline for 2020-21 is on 31 January. You’ll need to send your Self Assessment and pay your tax bill by that date, but we have helpful Self Assessment resources to help make that process as smooth as possible.
If you received government financial support during coronavirus restrictions, it's likely that you'll need to report this on your tax return.
In summer 2021, as restrictions were set to lift, we produced a report into the impact of Covid-19 on small businesses.
Our research uncovered how small business owners felt about the future. While we can never predict what’s going to happen, a quarter were at least cautiously optimistic about trading returning to pre-pandemic levels by spring or summer 2022.
It’s clear that small businesses are vital to the UK’s collective recovery. So as the country learns to live with coronavirus, we’ll continue to champion the self-employed.
We’ve already encouraged customers to continue supporting small businesses beyond the Christmas holidays. Look out for more initiatives to help make sure that trading returns to normal in 2022.
Are you optimistic about your business in 2022? Let us know in the comments below and by voting in our poll.
These aren’t set to change until late 2022 at the earliest, but the government has laid out its plans to overhaul tipping practices.
Under the plans, all tips and service charges will go to staff. This means card payments too (all cash tips are already protected by law). Here’s more on the legislation:
Read more about the tipping law changes.
In December 2021, our Small Business Choir highlighted the importance of supporting small businesses all year round:
What are your predictions for 2022? Let us know in the comments below.
Photograph 1: Jacob Lund/stock.adobe.com
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