• In its first Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker, the British Chambers of Commerce has revealed that the majority of UK businesses face a cashflow crisis
  • 62% of businesses said they have just three months of cash or less in reserve, and 44% expect to furlough at least half of their workforce in the next week
  • The majority of businesses reported a significant decrease in their revenue from both the UK and overseas

A poll by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has revealed that a number of UK businesses are at risk of collapse amid the coronavirus crisis.

In its first Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker, the BCC surveyed over 600 businesses and found that the majority have seen a significant decrease in domestic and overseas sales.

In the poll, 44% of businesses reported having to only one to three months’ worth of cash in reserve, while 18% had less than a month’s worth. Only 6% of businesses reported over a year’s worth of cash in reserve.

It also revealed that 32% of businesses were planning to furlough between 75 to 100% of their workforce over the next week.

Also, 18% of businesses said they had closed operations temporarily and, although none of the companies polled had yet closed their business operations permanently, the BCC said that both these figures were expected to rise over the coming weeks and months.

“This new tracker will serve as a barometer of business’ response to the government’s measures and changes to business’ working practices over the next few months,” explained the BCC.

“It will also track how quickly new government interventions, introduced to deal with the real-world impact of this crisis, are getting to the businesses at the front line.”

Dr Adam Marshall, director general at the BCC, commented: “The coronavirus pandemic has taken a heavy toll on business and economic activity across the UK.

“While businesses have welcomed the unprecedented size and scope of the government support packages, our findings highlight the urgent need for that support to reach businesses on the ground as soon as possible. The majority of firms cannot wait weeks or months for help to arrive.

“There’s no escaping the scale of the challenge UK businesses are facing, yet many are already finding ways to contribute to the national effort to tackle coronavirus. Chambers and their members are working together to play their part, including gathering unused PPE equipment from local businesses and delivering them to the NHS.

“I’ve no doubt we will see further examples of resilience and innovation – the hallmarks of the UK business community – in the coming weeks and months.”

For more information, visit: imagesmag.uk/BCCTracker