More than half of large and medium-sized businesses (55%) expect to see a “substantial” fall in revenue this year as a direct result of the Coronavirus outbreak.
The study, conducted by private equity provider Leonne International, also found that perception is split over the government’s financial and economic response to the crisis. Fifty-two per cent said the government was doing enough to support businesses, but 48% disagreed.
Conducted between the Budget on 8 March and 19 March, before the government confirmed it would pay up to £2,500 of workers’ wages, nearly a third (28%) said they were actively planning to make redundancies. However, 72% said they were against making redundancies.
More than half (56%) of senior leaders surveyed also believe the economic crisis will be worse than in 2007.
Nearly half (47%) said there should be great collaboration between the global business community to devise a plan of action to address the implications of the outbreak. A further 43% called on banks to offer zero-interest loans to businesses to support them through the crisis, while a quarter said their bank was reluctant to provide necessary short-term financial support.
Michael Haston, CEO of Leonne International, said: –“It’s clear that the Chancellor’s swift and decisive action has provided much-needed support to business leaders, despite the huge disruption caused by Covid-19. With millions of jobs at stake and tens of thousands of businesses seeing a sharp decline in revenue, it’s essential that the government stands squarely behind British businesses to help them through this crisis.”
“However, there needs to be a much more concerted effort within the wider business community to help companies get access to the financial and support they need to avoid lay-offs. It’s also critical that banks and financial services providers do everything in their power to help companies get access to the credit they need.”