BCC Head of Economics Suren Thiru comments on GDP figures for Q2 2020 published today by the ONS
The tracker serves as a barometer of business’ response to the government’s measures and changes to business’ working practices over the next few months. It also tracks how quickly new government interventions, introduced to deal with the real-world impact of this crisis, are getting to the businesses at the front line.
Results from the BCC’s first Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker paints a concerning, if unsurprising, picture for business communities affected by Coronavirus.
Results from the second BCC Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker reveal that most businesses have not yet successfully accessed the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the grants for small businesses.
Results from the third BCC Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker reveal that the majority of businesses responding to the survey have now furloughed a proportion of their workforce, and are awaiting funds from the government’s Job Retention Scheme to enable them to pay staff.
Results from the latest BCC Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker reveal that the vast majority of businesses surveyed have furloughed a proportion of their workforce, and are awaiting funds from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as payday approaches for many.
Results from the latest BCC Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker reveal the majority of businesses surveyed ahead of changes to the scheme announced on 27 April did not intend to seek financial support through CBILS bank loans and most of those who had applied were awaiting a decision or had been unsuccessful.
While the appetite for loan support is highest amongst firms with the most urgent cash flow problems, many of these firms did not intend to access CBILS due to concerns they could not repay the loan.
Results from the latest BCC Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker reveal the vast majority of firms surveyed say they will require three weeks or less to prepare to restart operations alongside any loosening of the UK lockdown.
Smaller businesses may be able to restart operations more quickly. Almost two-thirds (64 per cent)of respondents employing fewer than 10 people say they would need less than one week, compared to half (50 per cent) of respondents with more than 50 employees.
For firms of all sizes:
Over two-thirds (68 per cent) of business-to-business service firms said that they would need less than one week or no notice to restart operations, compared to 50 per cent of business-to-consumer service firms.
The leading business organisation’s weekly tracker poll, which serves as a barometer of the pandemic’s impact on businesses and the effectiveness of government support measures, received 540responses.The sixth tranche of polling was conducted April 29 – May 1.
The Tracker will continue to monitor business attitudes toward the restart of the economy – and the gradual release of the UK lockdown – over the coming weeks.
Businesses furloughing employees
The number of firms accessing the government’s Job Retention Scheme remains consistent with previous weeks, with around 74 per cent of respondents furloughing a portion of their staff.The scheme remains a crucial support for businesses to preserve jobs and livelihoods.
Encouragingly, since the scheme’s online application portal opened on 20 April, the vast majority of respondents (59 per cent) have submitted a claim and received payment from HMRC. This week’s results do not report any firms being rejected.
At the time of fieldwork:
Results from the latest BCC Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker reveal that firms are ready for a gradual reopening of the economy but will need continued, adaptable government support during a phased return to work.
- Over 70 per cent of respondents have furloughed a portion of their staff.
- Nearly three quarters of these firms have submitted a claim to the furlough scheme and received payment.
- The Job Retention Scheme has prevented redundancies for vast majority of respondents.
Results from the latest BCC Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker reveal that the majority of firms surveyed are in a position to partially restart operations as lockdown restrictions are eased:
BCC Coronavirus Impact Tracker: Restart of the UK economy “still in first gear” with businesses operating at just half of normal capacity
Results from the latest BCC Coronavirus Impact Tracker in partnership with job site Indeed reveal that businesses are operating at half of their pre-Covid 19 capacity on average, despite lockdown measures easing.
More than half cited reduced demand and possible future lockdowns as major obstacles to restarting day-to-day operations.
BCC Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker: Summer Statement schemes fall short in protecting firms and jobs
Results from the latest BCC Coronavirus Business Tracker reveal that businesses are still facing significant cashflow challenges with the schemes announced in the Summer Statement failing to provide support at the scale needed to protect jobs after the furlough scheme winds down:
BCC Director of Trade Facilitation Liam Smyth responds to today's announcement of £200m for a new Trader Support Service for Northern Ireland traders.