Facebook - Shropshire Business Twitter - Shropshire Business LinkedIn - Shropshire Business
https://www.njwealthplanning.co.uk https://www.pure-telecom.co.uk

Survey shows huge impact of Coronavirus

A major survey of businesses across the Marches has revealed the full scale of the impact coronavirus is having on the region’s economy.

Nearly 98 per cent of the 400 businesses who have so far responded to the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership survey say their business has been hit – with many revealing how they have been forced to shut down, suffered a total loss of revenue, had bookings cancelled or seen their supply chains collapse.

Nearly half of all businesses have furloughed staff under the new job retention scheme and more than half are not eligible for the Government’s small business grants.

The survey – one of the biggest of its kind ever conducted in the region – also reveals concerns about how banks are handling aspects of the Government’s support schemes, gaps in support which some businesses are falling through and delays in accessing loans and grants.

The LEP, the business-led body charged with delivering economic growth across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin – is urging more of the region’s 30,000 businesses to take the survey so that it has comprehensive evidence it can take to Government.

Marches LEP chair Mandy Thorn said: “This survey is giving us a really clear picture of the state of the business economy across our region during this crisis.

“So far businesses of all sizes, shapes and sectors have completed the survey but we want even more to take five minutes to make sure their voice is heard. With the evidence we are gathering we can lobby Government to ensure this region gets all the help and support it needs.”

Key findings of the survey to date include:

Largest sectors represented are tourism and hospitality (22 per cent),  professional services (16.5 per cent) and retail (14 per cent). Fifty eight per cent of businesses are limited companies, 25 per cent sole traders and 12 per cent registered as partnerships.

Comments from individual businesses about how the virus has affected them include:

“We have had to close the office and move our staff home – we have not had any support for rate relief as we are £1,000 over the £15,000 Rateable Value. Many of our customers have now put plans on hold for six months.”

“Our workload has reduced by 90 per cent so we have furloughed all but three of our workforce and closed the factory. Despite having no income we still have fixed costs so are worried about cash flow.”

“We have had to suspend all project work as our clients and consultants have requested a pause/break. The shock of the lockdown made clients put work on hold. All staff are furloughed.”

Some businesses praised the work of local authorities in delivering financial support, but many criticised the banks or said they had fallen between the cracks in the Government support.

Comments about Government business support measures included:

“Many of the options are not available for owner-operated/Director-run companies. Some are simply unaffordable, some are not applicable and furloughing is not an option for owner-operator/sole-person businesses as once furloughed you cannot do anything to help/run the business.”

“We are waiting for the portal to open on the CJRS but will not get cash until May but still have to pay out our April payroll. The banks are trying to sell us other products rather than allow us access to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme which we clearly qualify for.”

“We are a small limited business husband and wife team so none of the support offered as yet has been applicable.”

To take part in the survey visit https://www.marcheslep.org.uk/coronavirussurvey/

Pictured: Mandy Thorn MBE


Poll takes temperature 12 months on

Businesses asked for their views as region prepares for recovery

27th April 2021

Business Recovery Week launched

Marches LEP holds events to help businesses in wake of lockdown

14th September 2020

Lockdowns push businesses to the brink

New survey reveals sobering statistics across the UK

18th February 2021

Business expertise available online

Growth Hubs move seminars and workshops

20th May 2020

Businesses asked for post lockdown advice

Marches LEP calls for companies to share best practice ideas

4th May 2020

Marches Growth Hub looks for new chair

Business advice service looks to fill crucial role

3rd November 2020

Working together will be vital

Business community counts cost of Covid

23rd February 2021

Helping businesses get back on track

By Sarah Prince, WF Education Group

1st July 2020

Partnership vows to help recovery

Major survey reveals impact of Coronavirus on local companies

1st June 2020

Expert help available at grants event

Businesses can boost their green credentials with online support

1st December 2020

Expert online events to help businesses recover

Sessions will look to the future

8th May 2020

Marches LEP chief to step down

Gill Hamer moves on to pastures new

10th May 2021

New finance drive is launched

Funding will help businesses recover from Covid pandemic

22nd February 2021

International export event is a success

Virtual showcase helps companies reach new markets

15th April 2021

Let's Get Local campaign launched

Bridgnorth businesses join forces to promote their services

28th May 2020