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Tradespeople expect total Covid-19 losses to reach £18,039 – but are confident about recovery

2-minute read

Sam Bromley

Sam Bromley

23 April 2021

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New research from Simply Business reveals that Covid-19 has already cost tradespeople £14,722 each on average, with losses expected to increase.

But tradespeople are optimistic about the future of their business, with the roadmap out of lockdown providing some reassurance.

We surveyed 259 self-employed tradespeople and small construction business owners, who told us how more than a year of lockdowns and restrictions has taken its toll.

With costs already at £14,722, tradespeople expect total costs due to lockdown to reach £18,039 on average. But there’s cause for optimism, because the construction industry is playing an important role in the UK’s recovery.

Recent data shows it’s the fastest growing sector in the economy, with a 1.4 per cent rise in the last month.

Here’s why tradespeople are optimistic

The financial hit has been heavy, but with the vaccine rollout and the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, many tradespeople are still optimistic about the future.

Cause for optimism

% agreed

Vaccine rollout giving confidence that work will pick up


Lockdown roadmap giving reassurance to plan the business's future


Optimism about life in general after lockdown


What’s more:

  • 80 per cent of self-employed tradespeople plan to continue or restart their current business
  • eight per cent will remain self-employed but intend to start a new business
  • these plans show clear resilience among those in the trades

How tradespeople have spent their time in lockdown

Tradespeople also told us how they’ve been making the most of their free time in lockdown. Many have been spending more time with family where they can (63 per cent), as well as resting (37 per cent), and generally focusing on themselves (31 per cent).

Plus, tradespeople have taken the opportunity to boost future earning potential by learning new skills (eight per cent), and adopting new technologies to help with business operations (six per cent).

Tradespeople will play a key role in rebuilding the economy

Our UK CEO, Alan Thomas, believes that this resilience among tradespeople shows that we’re on the right track to recovery: “Tradespeople have already lost £14,722 each on average as a result of the pandemic.

“While that is a huge collective loss to the economy, we should more importantly recognise the impact such a financial hit will have had on so many individual lives, families, and futures.

“However, it is encouraging to see that – despite the challenges of the last year – tradespeople and the construction industry as a whole remain resilient. Construction is the fastest growing sector in the UK, and what’s more our survey reveals that many tradespeople up and down the country are optimistic about their futures.

“Tradespeople will play a key role in the rebuilding of our economy and communities, and their resilience in the face of such challenges should give us all confidence that we’re on the right tracks to recovery.”

Are you feeling optimistic about the future? Let us know in the comments below.

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Sam Bromley

Written by

Sam Bromley

Sam has more than 10 years of experience in writing for financial services. He specialises in illuminating complicated topics, from IR35 to ISAs, and identifying emerging trends that audiences want to know about. Sam spent five years at Simply Business, where he was Senior Copywriter.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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