Posted: Thu 16th Apr 2020
Three quarters of businesses are still operating despite the coronavirus pandemic but turnover has taken a significant hit for almost 40% of firms.
The findings come from the Office of National Statistics which is surveying around 18,000 VAT and PAYE registered businesses on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis every two weeks.
A total of 5,316 responded between 23 March and 5 April, the first week of the UK lockdown, and just under 75% of companies were still trading. Another 24.8% were temporarily closed and 0.4% were permanently shut.
Asked about the impact on turnover, 38% said it was substantially down, 17% said slightly lower than normal while 35% said it was unaffected.
For businesses still trading, an average 21% of the workforce had been furloughed through the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which provides grants for 80% of staff wages. The portal to make claims for the scheme launches on 20 April.
Two fifths of operating companies said they are reducing staffing levels in the short term, but 7% said they have increased their workforce.
Businesses were also asked about arrangements for staff working patterns and 47% reported that employees were working remotely.
We are keeping you updated on the latest information on how to access the government's coronavirus business support here. You can also find advice and ask a question on Enterprise Nation's coronavirus business advice hub. Follow Enterprise Nation on Twitter too for updates.