Six in 10 hospitality & leisure SMEs are expecting to see an increase in revenue over the August bank holiday weekend, with many pinning hopes on the three-day period being their busiest bank holiday in a decade.
According to new data from Barclaycard in its quarterly SME Barometer, 60% of small and medium-sized sector business are predicting a boost during the first long weekend post lockdown, with 13% anticipating that the bank holiday will be their busiest in a decade.
Consumer demand to return to shops, pubs and restaurants has also led 60% of retail and hospitality & leisure businesses to report equal or higher customer numbers than before the onset of the pandemic.
Confidence is returning to pre-pandemic levels among SMEs in the sector, as optimism improves and concern surrounding the pandemic falls to its lowest point since February 2020.
More than four in 10 plan to hire additional staff over the next 12 months in a sign of positivity for the future.
Data taken from the 350,000 small and medium businesses that Barclaycard processes payments for shows that, on average, SMEs have already seen a six per cent increase in revenue in recent weeks.
The figures are particularly positive for small and medium sized restaurants, pubs and bars, who experienced a 25 per cent increase in year-on-year revenue during the first week of August 2021.
The research also found that hospitality and leisure SMEs are forecasting a revenue boost of 27% in Q3 2021, compared to Q2 2021.
Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments, said: “Small and medium sized businesses hold such a significant position in the UK, accounting for around three fifths of the nation’s employment and half of the turnover in the UK private sector. The success and optimism we are seeing from this segment is an excellent gauge of how the wider economy is performing – and from that it’s terrific to predict that a bumper August Bank Holiday looks set to be on the cards.”