More than 50 percent of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) operating in Europe’s top-five economic powerhouses fear they will have to close in 12 months as they’re struggling to stay afloat amid the coronavirus crisis.

The pandemic has pushed down the revenues of more than 70 percent of European companies, according to the results of the McKinsey survey of over 2,200 SMEs in five European countries: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK.

Covid-19 has hit businesses hardest in Italy and Spain, where 30 and 33 percent of SMEs respectively reported that their revenues dropped “greatly.” Additionally, nearly a half of those polled in the two countries, which saw one of the strictest lockdowns, said their revenues were “somewhat” down.

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The poll was conducted in August, before Europe faced the second wave of infections and governments started to re-enforce some of the restrictions. Even then, the vast majority of companies described the economy as weak. (RT)