COVID-19 has impacted all industries in the UK over the past few months, whether positively – as sectors, such as medtech, experience increased demand and growth – or negatively – such as the hospitality and entertainment sectors. Last Monday, hospitality industry leaders released a 12 point plan as they say the sector could lose £1.1billion in turnover and 15,800 jobs as a result of coronavirus. In travel, it was also announced last week that industry leader Tui plans to cut up to 8,000 jobs in response to the Coronavirus chaos engulfing the tourism industry – having lost £650 million in the first quarter of 2020.
Retail, hospitality and travel are huge and vital sectors to the UK economy and we are now seeing the detrimental impact of Coronavirus on those industries in the figures released recently. However, with the new lifting of lockdown measures coming over the next few months, there are numerous opportunities to support these sectors – actively rebuilding the economy for years to come and increasing their resilience. Private equity can provide this lifeline to businesses to help see them through this period and through the other side of the lockdown, ready to grow and flourish. We, in the private equity arena, have a responsibility to support these businesses in the tough times and potentially see the rewards when the UK economy and its businesses have recovered from the pandemic.
IW Capital have been working with companies in each of these sectors who are developing new technologies and business models to actively disrupt their respective markets and change the way these industries have operated pre-COVID for good. Now is the time for private equity to back these businesses and support the future faces of the UK economy. Although lockdown has changed life momentarily, over the next six months – certainly within the year – holiday goers and restaurant diners will be back with an increased vigour to make up for lost time. Investing in small firms within these sectors now is a wise decision, therefore, and the benefits will certainly be reaped in the not-too-distant future.
The small business arena employs over 16 million people in the UK and contributes around £2 trillion to the economy each year. There has been huge growth potential emanating from the sector within the last decade, including the rise of 13 technology unicorns in the last year alone. This demonstrates the latent opportunities that exist in this area with the support of investors, whether through the Enterprise Investment Scheme or other routes of private equity investment.
To find out more about IW Capital, or for more information on investment and non-executive opportunities, please speak to a member of the IW Capital team today on 020 7015 2250, or email firstname.lastname@example.org