Results from the latest BCC Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker – a barometer of the pandemic’s impact on businesses and the effectiveness of government support – reveal that businesses are operating at half of their pre-Covid 19 capacity despite lockdown measures easing.

More than half cited reduced demand and possible future lockdowns as major obstacles to restarting day-to-day operations. Additionally, many businesses highlighted concerns about cashflow and late payment.

 On average, businesses are operating at half of their pre-Covid 19 capacity

 Customer demand (54%) and possible future local lockdowns (52%) are the two top obstacles to maintaining day-to-day operations

 43% of businesses reported an increase in late payments from customers compared with the last six months of 2019

Local impact

The British Chamber’s findings are akin to what is happening at a regional level. Results from the latest Doncaster Business Insight survey demonstrate the huge impact that Covid-19 has had on the borough’s economy and significant challenges ahead as the economy re-opens and recovers.

According to the data:

 The proportion of businesses reporting that they are operating below capacity has worsened by 75% since the last quarter.

 UK sales have been reduced by over 78% in the last quarter.

 Export sales have decreased by over 61% since the previous quarter

Commenting on the results, Doncaster Chamber Chief Executive Dan Fell said: “These figures demonstrate the toll that Covid-19 has already taken on Doncaster’s employers and, sadly, the jobs crisis that is likely to follow. The furlough scheme has been a lifeline to many businesses, but it does not solve all of the problems facing the private sector. Consequently, much more needs to be done by Government to stimulate demand in the economy.

“There are, however, actions that can be taken that do not require Government intervention. We have previously called for Doncaster’s residents and businesses to think and buy local. In addition to this, we would encourage larger businesses and public sector organisations that are able to do so to pay their supply chains promptly to avoid a further worsening of the cash crisis in our SMEs.”