To better understand the impact of COVID-19 on the local business community, the Business & Economic Recovery sub-group undertook an impact survey, open to businesses of all sizes, sectors and types, to gain a snapshot of the current local economic position. The survey was open from 13th April to 30th April 2020, with responses from 279 businesses. The overall headline findings from this research are:
- 56% of businesses reported a drop of more than 50% on revenue
- Just over half (51%) of the business had furloughed staff
- 32% of businesses had closed for the duration of the lockdown.
- 36% of businesses were operating a reduced service as a consequence of the pandemic
- 37% of businesses feel they can survive beyond 3 months without additional financial support
To better understand the impacts, the results were analysed by the following sectors:
- Sector 1 -Business, Professional services
- Sector 2 – Construction Building
- Sector 3 – Cultural, Creative, Leisure
- Sector 4 – Healthcare
- Sector 5 – ICT
- Sector 6 – Manu & Engineering
- Sector 7 – Retail, Personal services
- Sector 8 – Utilities, Primary Ind.
Impacts on revenue
In all sectors, the majority of respondents recorded a drop in revenue, with significant falls in the Construction, Retail and Cultural, Creative, and Leisure sectors.
A small proportion of respondents recorded an increase in revenue, notably from businesses within the manufacturing and engineering and healthcare sectors.
Open for Business?
When asked if the business had to close, variations across the sectors were significant. For example within the retail and personal services sector, 69% of respondents said they had closed the business, 55% in the culture, creative and leisure, whilst in the manufacturing and engineering sector 49% remained open.
In all sectors, a significant proportion of respondents said they were operating a reduced service, most notably in the construction and primary industries sectors.
Business Support Measures Accessed
Respondents were asked to identify which, if any, of the business support interventions they have accessed.
The most popular form of business support accessed by respondents was the Small Business Emergency Cash Grants, with over half utilising this support. Additionally, a significant proportion accessed the Job retention Scheme/Furloughing. Details of the take up of this initiative by individual sector is shown in the graph below. This shows that within the primary industries, construction and building sectors, retail & personal services and the business & professional services sectors, the majority of businesses are accessing the furlough initiative.
|Support Measure||% Accessed|
|Small business Emergency Grants||58.06|
|Job retention scheme||21.15|
|Income Tax deferral||8.96|
|Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan||8.60|
|Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Support||5.02|
|Statutory Sick Pay relief package||4.30|
|None of the above||15.41|
For each individual sector, the most popular form of business support accessed were as follows:
|Sector||Most Popular Support|
|1 – Business & Professional Services||Small Business Grants (59%)|
|2 – Construction Building||Furloughing (67%)|
|3 – Cultural, Creative & Leisure||Small Business Grants (62%)|
|4 – Healthcare||None of the above (54%)|
|5 – ICT||Small Business Grants (65%)|
|6 – Maunfacturing & Engineering||Furloughing (58%)|
|7 – Retail & Personal services||Small Business Grants (76%)|
|8 – Utilities, Primary Industries||Furloughing (83%)|
Business Survival & Sustainability
Respondents were asked how long they can you survive in the current “lock-down” climate without further or additional financial support? With the exception of the healthcare sector, in all other sectors the majority response was less than 3 months. This demonstrates how significant these measures have been, and how reliant the businesses are on these support measures during the lock-down period. Unsurprisingly, Construction, Creative, Cultural & Leisure and retail Sectors are showing a strong reliance on this support.
Respondents were asked about the overall impact of this pandemic, and asked to rate the impacts in both the short term and long term, where a score of 1 is negligible, and 10 is severe. It can be seen that in all sectors, the impacts and consequences of this pandemic will be significant.
Any other comments
Finally, respondents were asked for any additional support measures they would like to see or for any further comments?
Analysis to follow