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Gloucestershire Business News

Lloyds survey finds pandemic-led innovation helps UK businesses survive and thrive

COVID-19 prompted a wave of innovation as businesses pivoted their operations to survive, according to a Lloyds Bank survey.

Almost half (48 per cent) of UK businesses said the pandemic forced them to be more creative and innovative in finding new areas of growth, with 56 per cent making changes to their operations as a result.

Operational changes included expanding their online offering (21 per cent), adapting their ways of working (20 per cent) and increasing the number of products or services they offer (17 per cent) and growing the number of services or products they offer (25 per cent).

With many of these changes likely to have been made in order to help businesses survive through the pandemic and in particular the lockdowns, it is positive to find that one quarter (25 per cent) said that their operational changes have boosted revenues and profits.

It also appears that the forced innovation will bring long-term benefits with 51 per cent of businesses planning to keep their changes in the long term.

Manufacturers were most likely to make changes to their operating patterns (28 per cent vs 20 per cent UK average) and to expand the products they offered (22 per cent vs 17 per cent).

Retail was the top sector for expanding online offerings (25 per cent vs 21 per cent UK average), buoyed by the shift to online consumer spending.

Paul Gordon, managing director for SME and Mid Corporates, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: "UK businesses have shown incredible resilience over the past 18 months. What's interesting is that so many have made permanent changes to survive, with many growing revenue or finding new revenue streams from the pivots they have made to adapt to new trading conditions.

"While this is great to see, we know that it's not been easy for many. We'll work by the side of businesses to ensure they can access the help and support they need to recover and ultimately to grow as we get back to more normal trading conditions."

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