However, statistical averages don't show the true picture of business life on the ground.

Here is a round up of comments from SME's in their front line, reflecting the brutal consequences of the virus on some sectors of business, where there is little to no turnover and no prospect of any in the near future.

Hilary Asumu, director of Manchester-based childcare business, SafeHaus UK: "Turnover. What turnover? The Government must be living in La La Land. Like many small businesses, I don't have any turnover right now."

Robert Kincaid, director of the Birmingham-based office catering company, Trenchers"We are dying a slow death. As a small catering company that mainly caters for office events, we have had next to no orders since the middle of March. The only way to help us is to get the office workers back in, as Birmingham is a ghost town."

Jacqueline Harthill, owner of The Happy Parents' Club"Turnover has decreased massively and because I've had no Government support I suspect my business will die without any financial help and therefore I'll end up unemployed. At my age, that also means unemployable!"

Claire Harris, Head of Operations at the Buckinghamshire-based bespoke tailor, Harris Bespoke"Our turnover over the last month was zero. Our expected turnover for the rest of the year depends on whether people go back to work. Our current clients are all working from home and so have no need for additional suits. If our clients don't go back to the office then our turnover for the remainder of the year is also forecast to be zero."

Mark Astle, director at the photography agency, Proper Agency"Turnover has decreased over the past month and looks set to get worse for the rest of the year. The Government has handled the pandemic so badly we're headed for more lockdowns. And Brexit coming in January will be the final nail in the coffin of the UK economy."

Paul Asbridge of the West Midlands-based live entertainment company, Jam Hot: "We've gone from a fairly healthy turnover to literally nothing since March. Turnover looks set to remain at nothing until 2021 and perhaps beyond, and still not a penny of aid from this Government."

Jez Lamb of the Wirral-based Beers @ No.42: "Turnover has decreased by 55%. I'm expecting a quieter next month or so but hoping it will pick up as Christmas draws closer however the impact of no Christmas markets will hit me severely."

Andrew Rodger, a cinematographer and founder of boutique watch manufacturer, Planar"My turnover is hugely down. All of my film and TV work has been cancelled or moved to next year leaving me with next to no income. I expect this to continue into at least the first few months of 2021."

Maria Harris, director of the mortgage technology consultancy, Digital Cat Consultancy"Turnover is down by 25% and I expect it to continue falling over the next month or so."

Eve Salter of the Manchester-based consumer designer and stylist, Project Eve"Turnover has decreased, and as a single mum with no support network I'm feeling anxious. I think this year is a write-off. You simply cannot plan ahead right now." 

Faye Stenson, Copywriter & Marketing Communications Specialist, Black & Write"My turnover increased very slightly in August from July, by about £150! I'm still doing less than half the business I usually do and this looks set to continue for the rest of the year."


... and a few rare positives...


Ruth Bradford, founder of The Little Black & White Book Project: "My turnover is up about 300% over the past five months. I sold more books in one quarter than the whole of the last financial year. My expectations for the rest of the year are positive and I hope to see the same growth compared to this period last year. I am an ecommerce business in the baby gift trade and have seen a significant increase in sales since May."

Rachel McGuinness, Chief Vitality Officer, Wake Up With Zest: "Turnover has increased because of the pandemic and companies wanting to look after the mental and physical wellbeing of their employees. People have a lot of anxieties, whether related to working from home, being back in the office and having to social distance, or travelling on public transport. I pivoted my workplace wellbeing business at the beginning of the year to deliver health webinars and offer an online resource for employees so I'm hoping for turnover to increase."

Mat Lambeth, owner of the Birmingham-based locksmith, The Veteran Locksmith"My turnover has started to increase, especially on the commercial contract side of things. I also have plenty of work upcoming, but only due to others' misfortune!"

Janet Dowling, of the Gloucestershire-based hypnotherapist, Janet Dowling: My turnover in the past five months is about the same as previous years. I'm expecting turnover to increase in coming months and years as lockdown made me move my hypnotherapy practice successfully online so I can now ‘see' clients all over the UK, indeed the world."

Angela Hall, Director of the online zip up babygrow retailer, ZippyUp: "Turnover for ZIPPYUP dramatically increased during lockdown. As an online independent business there was lots of support from buyers during this time as large retailers were not open. During August turnover has reduced but this could be a number of seasonal factors including family holidays and spending money on other essential items. Expectations for the next few months or ‘the golden quarter' are expected to be good in the run up to Christmas."