Around 60 per cent of UK businesses experience the same or increased levels of demand during the Christmas period, according to a new study.

Commissioned by freelancing website Upwork, the research revealed that many small business owners and self-employed workers benefit from remaining active throughout the festive season, with 36 per cent predicting they could earn up to 50 per cent more if they stay open through Christmas.

However, small business owners stated that they struggle to meet demand during the holidays as staff take increased time away from their work. In fact, the study revealed that 21 per cent of SMEs suffer due to staff getting less work done and failing to meet increased demand.

A separate SME Growth Tracker report has also revealed that small businesses are predicting their increased demand to continue into the new year, expecting a revenue growth of 1.8 per cent over the coming 12 months.

Small businesses are also predicting that their profits will increase by around 1.1 per cent over the coming year, compared with only 0.2 per cent in the past 12 months.

Emma Jones MBE, founder of Enterprise Nation and the government's crown representative for small businesses, has suggested that increased government support could help to boost small business success even more in 2017.

"Britain’s small businesses play a crucial role in driving our economy, and are the most driven, adaptable, and resilient you will ever meet," she said. "With the right support, like lower rates, easy access to finance, and digital opportunities which boost exports and productivity, you’ll continue to see them grow year-on-year."

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