business spending covid statistics

How small businesses spent their cash in response to the Pandemic – Statistics

The impact the pandemic has had on businesses is highlighted by cross-referencing expenses with key events in the last year. Business loan payments skyrocketed after the second lockdown. Other key redirections of spending are also revealed.

Businesses across the UK have had a tough time managing their finances alongside the pandemic, but how have key events influenced business expenses?

To find out, the virtual bookkeeper, DEXT, analysed their internal data and cross referenced their findings with the UK’s COVID19 timeline.

Their findings can reveal the different ways expenditures have changed in response to lockdowns, announcements and further restrictions.

A Summary of the Statistics

The data showed that overall expenses across all aspects of business increased from £801 per submission in May 2020, to £947 in May 2021 as per average monthly transactions.





May £136

April £518


July £2,086

Sept £3,036


Dec £173

Jan £1,825


May £3,577

Nov £6,066


But to what extent has each spending category been affected?

DEXT’s analysis also looked at spending across categories and made some interesting discoveries outlined here.

Business Rent Spending During Covid

DEXT found that rent became an issue for businesses, as their abandoned offices left many having to redirect their spending. 

In May 2020, businesses were paying on average £2,873 per submission in rent, dropping to £2,048 in November. However, their findings revealed that this has since risen, with companies spending £2,795 per submission on average in May 2021 – as companies have begun to reopen.

Business Spending on Insurance During Covid

Protecting their finances was a key priority for many businesses across the UK, which can be reflected by the average monthly transactions data from DEXT.

In May 2020, companies paid out £3,001 per submission in insurance, increasing to £5,373 by April 2021 and £4,534 in May 2021. 

These figures also rose in November 2020, with businesses directing £4,882 per submission, coming shortly after the second national lockdown. DEXT found that this was followed by another rise in January after the third national lockdown was brought into place, as figures rose again to £5,576.

Business Health and Safety Spending Through the Pandemic

Health and safety: It wasn’t just financial protection either, but personal health too.

Ensuring offices and employees had plenty of masks, gloves and hand sanitiser came at a cost.

The start of the pandemic saw businesses spending £304 per submission in May 2020. However, this rose once non-essential businesses reopened in June 2020, to £809 in July 2020.

January was the most costly, with the average monthly transaction coming to £1,825 per submission.

Business Cleaning Expense Through Covid

Cleaning costs also rose, and similarly to other areas of expenditures, in accordance with the announcement of lockdowns.

The second lockdown led to cleaning expenses increasing from £190 per submission in September 2020, to £384 in October 2020. 

Overall, DEXT found that cleaning the workspace took a huge £2,923 per submission of business expenses over the last year. 

Business Spending on Contractors

The analysis also revealed how businesses redirected their expenses to contractors such as freelancers. 

Internal data highlights that August had the lowest spending, with companies paying out £1,519 per submission to contractors. 

Business Spending on Technology Through the Pandemic

Tech also became a huge focus, and DEXT’s analysis highlights this.

Compared to May 2020 (£397 per submission), small businesses across the UK spent 74% more on computer equipment per average monthly transaction in January 2021 (£690). 

A Year (or 2?) of Change

DEXT’s analysis highlights just how quickly business spending models and approaches changes as we all had to adapt to the “new normal.” Almost 18 months since the UK’s first lockdown and restrictions are now all but gone. But small business owners will be all too aware now just how quickly things can change again and perhaps if this analysis is rerun in another year, we may see a whole different picture once again.



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