The British Chamber of Commerce's weekly tracker poll, which serves as a barometer of pandemic’s impact on businesses and the effectiveness of government support measures, received more than 1,000 responses and is the largest independent survey of its kind in the UK.

This week's poll reveals that 37 per cent of businesses are planning to furlough between 75 to100 per cent of their workforce over the next week. This is up from 32 per cent last week.

The percentage of firms intending to furlough 100 per cent of their staff also increased from 17 per cent last week, to 20 per cent this week.

Commenting on the results, BCC Director General Dr Adam Marshall said:

Our latest data shows that many businesses face a cliff-edge scenario, either at the end of this month or over the course of the next quarter.

We’ve seen a big jump in the number of firms furloughing staff, and many are now starting to apply for access to government loan and grant schemes to keep themselves afloat. Our research suggests that support is only starting to reach firms on the ground.