Therefore, our findings that 84% of businesses, an increase of 11% on two weeks ago, expect a decrease in revenue of more than 25%, should not come as a shock.
However, what our results do show is the gravity of the situation, particularly for many smaller businesses. 25% of those who responded expect revenue to collapse by more than 90%, with one in five businesses laying off all staff.
For those who have closed their operations entirely, most expect to remain closed for at least 12 weeks. Unfortunately, as we’re seeing in other countries, the period of closure is likely to be longer for some businesses.
Should this come to pass, an honest dialogue with Government will be required regarding how the staff and employers who have lost their living will be supported.
Since the outset, we have highlighted the need for far-reaching economic intervention from Government to support local economies and job creators right across the country. We need action on a scale we have not seen before. The unprecedented nature of COVID-19 must be met with an unprecedented response.
This view is shared by our members, where there is almost unanimous agreement that a post-COVID-19 stimulus package will be required and that part of these measures must include the provision of grants for business to help them re-open their doors and restore jobs lost.
Measures already introduced, while critical in the first response to support business, will need to evolve in scale and scope.