International trade is key to growth of SMEs
Recent data from Mastercard shows that two in five SMEs in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) are being driven by digital growth and international sales to earn more money than before the pandemic. The report found that 46% of small and medium-sized businesses are now making more revenue and profit than they did before the pandemic thanks to international trade, with 71% recording above global-average growth in online sales.
The pandemic caused small businesses to re-evaluate their strategies and many businesses realigned their regional and global markets. The report found that 77% of SMEs are planning to take greater advantage of international trade going forward, whilst 64% believe the pandemic has changed how they will conduct business forever. Businesses are not just turning to international markets for their sales, but also for materials, with 72% of SMEs saying the pandemic has allowed them to source more competitive quotes from international suppliers.
UK SMEs have battled various obstacles over the past few years to register impressive growth throughout 2022 which is set to continue this summer with the support of loyal customers. Small business owners continue to demonstrate elicit optimism for the months ahead, with two-thirds (66%) of SMEs saying they are expecting sales to grow over the next year. SMEs continue to be vital for the growth of the UK business landscape, accounting for 99.9% of the UK business population, three-fifths of employment and nearly half of turnover in the UK private sector.