Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Most firms can be ready for ‘restart’ within three weeks, tracker reveals

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The vast majority of UK firms say they will require three weeks or less to prepare to restart operations alongside any loosening of the UK lockdown. That's the finding of the latest Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker from British Chambers of Commerce.

And smaller businesses may be able to restart operations more quickly: almost two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents employing fewer than 10 people say they would need less than one week, compared to half (50 percent) of respondents with more than 50 employees.

Across all scales of business, the tracker survey results show that:

  • 25 percent said they would not need any notice
  • 35 percent said they would need less than a week’s notice
  • 29 percent said they would need one to three weeks’ notice
  • 7 percent said they would need three to six weeks’ notice
  • 3 percent said they would need more than three weeks’ notice

By sector, 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 weekly tracker poll, which serves as a barometer of the pandemic’s impact on businesses and the effectiveness of government support measures, received 540 responses.The  sixth tranche of polling was conducted between April 29 and May 1.

Commenting on the results, BCC director general Dr Adam Marshall said: “Over the coming days, business communities will require clear forward guidance from the government on plans to re-open parts of the economy, transport networks, schools and local services.

“Our results show that businesses’ ability to restart quickly varies by company size, and by sector.

“For these reasons and more, it will be crucial for the government to maintain and evolve support for businesses, to give as many firms as possible the chance to navigate a phased return to work.

“While the fight against Coronavirus must remain the top priority, the communication of plans for the easing of restrictions must also begin immediately. The Chamber Network will continue to work constructively with governments across the UK to plan a coherent path forward.”

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