SME’s are the backbone of The UK economy and the courage, commitment and tenacity required to be successful too often goes unrecognised.

Recent research suggests that UK SME business owners have invested an average of £7,000 of their own savings to keep their businesses alive.

Such sacrifice to keep staff on payroll, pay bills and keep business live does not surprise us at all and we humbly salute such business owners.

Alongside this, the research shows that a third of SME business owners forewent their own salaries in order to help keep employers onboard, over 40% gave up bonuses and 30% gave up dividends.

Nor has such commitment been limited to the financial realm; with almost 60% of SME owners significantly increasing their working hours to keep abreast of administration and bureaucracy such as furlough and other regulatory changes.

Underscoring this, almost 70% of SME business owners have been forced to make exceptionally difficult decisions to avoid business failure, from furloughing staff to freezing or reducing pay.

In spite of the incredible challenges of the last year, SME’s now more feel optimistic than they did a year ago today.

Perhaps most warmly, encouragingly and importantly is the understanding of the human factors and impact, and the sense of responsibility to their people and making them their priority.

Such commitment is to be saluted and bodes well for those SME’s and business owners who will survive this crisis.