The findings of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) quarterly economic survey for quarter three 2020, published late last week, made sobering reading with nearly half of firms reporting a decrease in sales as they endured a sustained squeeze on cash.
The survey of over 6000 firms from across the UK, including a healthy input from Staffordshire businesses, showed conditions for quarter three have remained weak despite much of the economy reopening.
Not surprisingly, business to consumer firms, including hospitality, fared worst in the wake of redundancy threats and a fall in the availability of disposable income.
Whilst Q3 has seen an improvement compared to the unprecedented percentage of firms reporting decreases in domestic and export sales in Q2, most firms continue to report decreases or no change in sales in Q3.
Cash flow, a key indicator of business health, continued to deteriorate for almost half of firms. In Q3, 21 percent of firms reported an improvement in cash flow, 34 percent reported no change and 45 percent reported a deterioration. Alarm bells rang in the micro firms’ sector with 51 percent reporting a deterioration.
The government’s Winter Economy Plan may provide a short-term shot in the arm, but the BCC is pushing ministers to be on standby with further measures, clearly articulated, to assist those businesses most at risk.
You can read the full QES report here: https://bit.ly/34ueuiM
Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub are offering grants of up to £1000 to help growth in SMEs.
Typical expenditure would include product and design development, specialist consultancy or consultancy costs to build or improve a website.
The £1000 grants must be matched by £667 of a businesses own funding and you need to have been trading for 12 months with 70 percent of your sales derived from business to busines (B2B) activity.
If you are interested in applying contact Angela Halls: 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.