With less than a month to go until Christmas, small business insurance provider Simply Business is reporting a 26% drop in Christmas tree sellers this year compared to last year.
It’s the first reported drop in Christmas tree sellers for the past four years. Between 2017 and 2020, the number of Christmas tree sellers grew 136%, but this year there are a quarter less sellers in operation.
It comes as a separate study by Simply Business reveals one in five (16%) small business owners say their business won’t survive through 2022 unless they have a successful festive trading period this year. The festive season is a lifeline for many small businesses, with more than a third (36%) making over a fifth (20%) of their annual revenue in this crucial window.
But worryingly, despite the importance placed on this period, one in four (27%) small business owners say they’re ‘not confident’ about their business’s chances this December.
Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business said, “For the first time in four years, our data has revealed a drop in the number of Christmas tree sellers in the UK. Like many small business owners, Christmas tree sellers have felt the impact of the pandemic, along with rising costs and supply chain challenges – forcing many to shut up shop.
“It comes amid reports of a nationwide shortage of Santas, and risks compounding the potential for a blue Christmas.
“While we’ve seen countless examples of innovation, resilience and resourcefulness in the self-employed community, one in five small businesses expect to permanently close in 2022, unless they have a bumper festive period.
“It’s vital we support small businesses this Christmas – and if anything, the pandemic has served as another reminder that we should be supporting them all year round. They’re the lifeblood of our local communities and collectively contribute trillions of pounds a year in turnover. They are, quite simply, the backbone of the economy.”