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Half of businesses say the government has not provided enough support during the pandemic, survey shows

Written by Latifa Yedroudj on Friday, 16 October 2020. Posted in Politics, Analysis

42% of businesses believe the government has not helped them enough in the crisis, nearly half expect their recovery to take at least a year

Half of businesses say the government has not provided enough support during the pandemic, survey shows

42% of businesses believe the government has not helped them enough in the crisis, nearly half expect their recovery to take at least a year 

With the new three-tier lockdown measures in place, thousands of SMEs are now struggling to keep operations afloat amid mass uncertainty. The government has announced new schemes and measures to help businesses during this difficult time, including the newly announced Job Support Scheme. Many companies have been greatly impacted by the pandemic, and according to a recent survey, half believe the government has not provided enough support to struggling businesses. 

According to a YouGov B2B Omnibus survey, 48% of businesses said the government has not provided enough support. The poll, which spoke to over 1,000 businesses in Britain, revealed 42% of companies believe the government has provided some support but not enough of it, while a further 8% said they have not provided any support. 

Meanwhile, a quarter of British businesses (27%) revealed they are still receiving direct financial support from the government in the form of grants, loans or furlough money. One in three companies (31%) said that they have previously claimed support, but currently don’t claim any. A third of businesses (35%) say they have never received any direct financial support from the government during the coronavirus crisis. 

However, many businesses are sceptical about their growth in a post-coronavirus world. 45% of businesses believe it will take them at least a year to financially recover from the crisis, with almost a quarter expecting this process to take at least two years. One in ten businesses (10%) expect the recovery process to take at least three years. 

Businesses can claim wages for their employees in the Job Support Scheme, which will replace furlough at the start of November. However, 52% of British businesses expect to let staff go by the end of this year, with 20% saying they could lose at least a fifth of their workers during this pandemic.  

Even businesses who are currently receiving financial support from the government believe they aren’t safe just yet. 71% of these businesses believe they could lose some employees by the end of this year, and a third of them (33%) expect to lay off a fifth of their staff or more. If government support stops for businesses receiving financial support, 42% say they could lose a fifth of their staff or more by the end of the year. The poll questioned 1,108 senior decision-makers at British businesses between 23rd – 30th September this year. 

Following Monday’s announcements, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now facing increased pressure to impose tougher lockdown rules following calls from scientists and ministers to introduce a short nationwide lockdown. Meanwhile, Liverpool has been placed on a strict three-tier lockdown with all public places closed down until further notice. It is vital the government support SMEs during this difficult time and provide them with help and advice to keep operations afloat.

About the Author

Latifa Yedroudj

Latifa Yedroudj

Latifa Yedroudj has joined the Elite team to fully immerse herself in the business side of journalism, a strong passion of hers cultivated from young having co-run her mother's start up business since she was 18. Her interests lie in a wide range of subjects, including start ups, business, travel, and anything entrepreneurial she can get her hands on. She has worked for some of the biggest names in journalism including The Guardian and The Mirror. Follow her on @latifayed on Twitter for her latest journo rants.

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