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46 per cent of freelancers adapt business during pandemic

Smiling pretty freelancer sitting on yellow sofa with laptop

New research from Aldermore Bank has highlighted the financial difficulties faced by many freelancers during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also demonstrated how some have adjusted in order to weather the crisis.

According to the survey, which was carried out in May among 1,000 self-employed workers, around a quarter of freelancers are considering moving to full-time work due to financial difficulties – many of which are related to the effects of the pandemic.

The survey found that 51 per cent said that their financial situation had got worse in the past year. 59 per cent said their monthly earnings had dropped since the onset of the pandemic and 41 per cent do not anticipate that their earnings will return to pre-pandemic levels soon.

However, the survey also highlighted the resilience of the UK’s freelance sector in spite of these challenges, with 46 per cent of respondents saying that they had modified their business in order to respond to the pandemic.

13 per cent of those surveyed said that they had used the pandemic as an opportunity to completely alter their business model. This trend was particularly evident among younger freelancers aged 18-35, with 23 per cent in that bracket having changed their business completely.

Other findings in the survey included that 34 per cent of freelancers had applied for support from the government during the pandemic, while around a quarter of freelance homeowners had applied for a mortgage payment holiday.

Jon Cooper, Head of Mortgage Distribution at Aldermore, commented: “The self-employed sector makes up a significant proportion of the workforce and is a breeding ground for innovation and advancement in many industries, so it will play an important part in the UK’s economic recovery post-COVID.”

“The self-employed are often fulfilling a life’s dream in creating their business, and some of the biggest companies in the world like Amazon and Facebook started as small start-ups, so it is crucial this entrepreneurial spirit is supported by government and lenders through these tough times and for whatever future life plans they have.”

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