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2 in 5 SME business leaders in the Capital experience mental health impact from pandemic

September 7, 2021




  • New research reveals London’s SME business leaders experienced a negative impact to their mental health from the strain of the pandemic 
  • Half of London’s SMEs say they have yet to recover from the economic fallout of Covid-19
  • 1 in 5 SME business leaders in London are lacking confidence for their business’s prospects over the next 2 years
  • Research comes as Klarna launches £3mn SME support package

London, 6th September 2021: New data from Klarna, the leading global retail bank, payments, and shopping service, has revealed 47% of SME leaders in London have yet to recover from the pandemic.

With small businesses having to close their doors to customers due to national lockdowns, the research found that 41% of SME decision-makers in the Capital felt a negative impact on their mental health throughout this time. Business leaders cited supply chain issues, a lack of sales, and the combined impact of the pandemic and Brexit weighing heavily on them during the pandemic.

The nationwide survey of over 500 UK SME leaders revealed that 1 in 5 SME business leaders (18%) in London are feeling pessimistic about the future of their business over the next 2 years. Such was the strain of the pandemic, 41% of SME leaders in London said that they thought their business would not be able to survive the pandemic.

Klarna has recently launched a new £3m Small Business Support Package and Accelerator Programme to help UK SMEs recover from the pandemic. The package will help 100 retail SMEs get back on their feet, with a ten-part accelerator programme alongside to help any UK SME receive access to tips and guidance to help grow their business.

To apply for the fund, please head to: https://www.klarna.com/uk/business/small-business-support-package

Applications are open until 8th September.

To attend the Accelerator Program, head to: https://www.klarna.com/uk/business/small-business-accelerator-programme/


Note to Editors:

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 501 senior managers in retail. Fieldwork was undertaken between 30th June - 11th July 2021.  The survey was carried out online.

About the SME Support Package.

Timing – Competition begins at 14:00 GMT July 28, 2021, and ends at 11:59 PM GMT on Sept 08, 2021 

Eligibility – Small Businesses with a turnover of less than £5m turnover, registered in the United Kingdom. Merchants do not have to be integrated Klarna merchants to enter the competition and to participate.

For more information, please contact:

George Rogers


About Klarna.

With over 90 million global active users and 2 million transactions a day, Klarna is meeting the changing demands of consumers who want to shop, pay and bank on one intuitive platform and with one trusted brand. Over 250,000 global retail partners, including H&M, Saks, Sephora, Macys, IKEA, Expedia Group, Samsung, ASOS, Peloton, Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike and Shein have enabled Klarna’s innovative shopping experience online and in-store. Klarna is one of the most highly valued private fintechs globally with a valuation of $45.6 billion. Klarna was founded in 2005, has over 4,000 employees and is active in 17 markets. Klarna has been backed by Sequoia Capital since 2010 and more recently, SilverLake, Dragoneer, Bestseller Group, Permira, Ant Group, HMI Capital, TCV, NorthZone, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Merian Chrysalis Investment Company Limited, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock amongst others.