It’s not really a great surprise that the latest figures from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Coronavirus Impact Tracker show that firms are still vulnerable as government support schemes approach their end and illustrate that business conditions improved only moderately since the historic contraction of the economy in Q2 2020.
Firms are still reporting high levels of reliance on government support schemes to help cashflow issues with more than one in three businesses saying they have three months or less cash in reserve.
Slightly mixed news in that the number of firms reporting a rise in revenue from UK customers rose slightly from 34 to 38 per cent, from a low of three per cent in Q2 was perfectly balanced by the 38 percent of respondents reporting a decrease in revenues.
Business to consumer (B2C) firms were more likely to report improvements in revenue compared to other sectors, largely because of pent-up consumer demand.
With government schemes set to wind down in coming weeks and the threat of the reintroduction of localised or national lockdowns, we are still unclear what, if any, support firms will receive when schemes end.
Chambers across the UK are calling for the government to reduce employers National Insurance Contributions and for targeted support for businesses placed under local lockdown. Ministers need to be proactive and not wait until we are in the grips of another lockdown until they act. To add your input to the BCC Coronavirus Impact Tracker visit: https://bit.ly/3gbugmz
Finally, a quick reminder that we are still seeking nominations for our council and our local area boards in Stafford and the Staffordshire Moorlands.
Being a member of council or a local area board is a great way to have a say in shaping business support in the area as well as being kept right up to date with the latest business developments.
It is also great for continuous professional development and introduces you to a new network of likeminded business professionals. To find out more you can contact Vicki Hardie – firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to talk to us about any business issues, you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002.