Welsh SMEs have shown sustained resilience throughout the pandemic, and despite 69 per cent of Welsh enterprises feeling uncertain about the economy reopening, two thirds (64%) never considered giving up on their business amid the challenges imposed by the pandemic.
According to PayPal’s Business of Change report this resilience was driven by their commitment to their business, with 40 per cent of Welsh SMEs stating that their drive and passion for their business to succeed kept them going.
Encouraging feedback from customers (20%) was the second factor that gave them the strength to stay open (20%), with over a third (33%) of SMEs stating that local customers were critical to support their business. In response to the support received by their communities, 56 per cent of SMEs will prioritise local customers over international ones in the coming months.
Despite 72 per cent of SMEs saying that the pandemic slowed down their growth and put them behind where they expected to be, one in four (23%) stressed how the pandemic streamlined their operations and made them more agile.
As nearly half (46%) of Welsh SMEs believe the consumer will primarily shop online even when restrictions will lift, the incorporation of digital payments will be key to propel growth in the country and offer a seamless, contactless experience to their customers.
As a result, Welsh SMEs are looking at increasing digital payments capabilities with e-transfers (62%) and electronic payments made through online marketplaces (28%). Despite Welsh enterprises being reliant on cash, with 52 per cent of SMEs stating that cash payments are still popular, 76 per cent already offer PayPal.
Vincent Belloc, managing director at PayPal UK, said:
“We know that the future of business is digital. Small businesses need help envisioning their future and a failure to protect them will put the speed of recovery at risk. As a long-standing and trusted partner of Welsh SMEs, we will continue to be a pillar of support and growth and help them achieve their ambitions.”