1 in 3 UK businesses fear closure in the next five years

small business owners

small business owners
A new survey of more than 750 decision-makers within UK businesses has revealed how COVID-19, Brexit and US politics have impacted their confidence.

Over a third of UK businesses predict closure within the next five years, according to new research from One World Express.

The global logistics firm commissioned a survey of over 750 decision-makers within UK businesses. According to the research, almost two thirds (64%) believe a combination of COVID-19 and Brexit made 2020 the hardest year on record.

As a consequence, a quarter (25%) of UK business leaders predict their organisations will not survive until the end of 2021. Confidence drops even further when considering their longer-term survival – over a third (36%) believe that their business will be forced to close down in the next five years.

One World Express’ research also found that international factors have impacted the confidence of business leaders, with three in ten (31%) stating that Donald Trump’s presidency has negatively impacted their business.


  • A quarter (25%) of UK businesses believe that they won’t survive until the end of 2021
  • Over a third (36%) of businesses don’t think they will survive by the end of 2026
  • 64% believe Brexit uncertainty and COVID-19 made 2020 the hardest year on record for UK businesses

Atul Bhakta, CEO of One World Express, says:

“Brexit uncertainty and COVID-19 made 2020 an extremely challenging year for businesses. It comes as no surprise that business leaders are looking to the future with some apprehension.

“Nonetheless, there are reasons to be optimistic. At the moment, we are transitioning out of a challenging period. Vaccines are being deployed across the UK, and businesses are slowly adjusting to the UK’s new relationship with the EU. During this time, new opportunities are emerging, including new trading prospects in jurisdictions outside of Europe.

“That being said, there are still some challenging times ahead. I urge businesses to explore all trading options available to them and seek advice from experts where necessary. Doing so will certainly help organisations survive, and even thrive, in the post-Brexit world. ”

Founded in 1998, One World Express is a global logistics, e-commerce and IT solutions provider. The London-based company provides fulfilment, warehousing and final-mile delivery solutions for companies around the world.

Mar 1, 2021Chris Price

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