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Business Impact Survey

To help understand the issues affecting businesses due to COVID-19 and to better support them, we are carrying out a number of Business Impact Surveys. The first survey ran from 23 March to 30 March 2020 and the findings are summarised further down the page. 

The first survey helped us get a clearer picture of the local impact on businesses and informed our work with business support partners to help them get the appropriate guidance and support to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. 
We have now launched a second survey, to help us better understand where we should prioritise our support for local businesses. It closes at 5pm on Monday 25 May 2020. 
Take the COVID-19 Business Impact survey (4 to 25 May)  

Findings from the Business Impact Survey 23 to 30 March 2020. 

More than 450 local businesses took part in the online survey, which gave us a snapshot of how the pandemic is rapidly impacting businesses across all sectors in the borough.   

Most of the businesses that responded (84%) employed less than five people and 13% employed between six and twenty staff, reflecting the fact that small and micro businesses are the driving force of the borough’s economy. Of those responding, 61% were private limited companies, 24% were sole traders, 4% were public limited companies and 6% were either co-operatives, social enterprises, self-employed or charities.  

The headline findings are very worrying. 

26% of businesses have already made staff redundant. 87% said COVID-19 has impacted on their business and of those:   

  • 37% reported supply chain issues   
  • 82% saw a fall in consumer demand for goods or services   
  • 50% reported financial impact in terms of liquidity and capital reserves  
  • 43% experienced reduced staff productivity   

87% of businesses reported concerns, of these the main concerns were:    

  • 97% lost income   
  • 55% site premises closure   
  • 64% possible cessation of trading   
  • 65% access to finance   
  • 48% threat of having to lay off staff   
  • 45% reduced productivity  

87% of businesses were taking contingency measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 including:  

  • 6% of businesses stockpiling  
  • 37% of businesses introducing new flexible working patterns  
  • 20% of businesses seeking new supply chain solutions   
  • 20% of businesses providing additional hygiene measures   
  • 52% of businesses accessing the available business support   

62% of businesses that completed the survey do not pay business rates while 38% do. Of the businesses responding to survey, 48% confirmed that they qualify for Small Business Rate Relief.  

This survey gives us a good baseline position for monitoring the ongoing difficulties our business community is facing. It highlights the need for more support from government schemes for smaller businesses and those that are not eligible for the business rates grants. We will take this up with the government and press them to improve the package of support on offer.   

Almost 96% of businesses taking part in the survey would like further information from us about the support available to businesses. We will use the findings of the survey to shape our support for businesses through the current crisis and communicate regularly with businesses through our e-alerts. 

Sign up to receive our business e-alerts