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Firms confident of re-starting, BCC survey shows

Written by  May 14, 2020

Most firms can restart their business with up to three weeks’ notice and are confident of implementing social distancing measures or remote working, new BCC research suggests.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said its survey of 600 firms found that 70% had furloughed staff, showing how the job retention scheme had prevented redundancies.

Nine out of 10 of those questioned said they would need three weeks or less to reopen, as and when the Government eased restrictions.

Three out of four said they could implement social distancing measures and almost as many were confident of making provisions for remote working, although one in five said this was not applicable to their business.

Three out of five said they could stagger arrival times.

BCC director general Dr Adam Marshall said: “The job retention scheme has been successful in its aim to protect livelihoods and its extension will come as a huge help and a huge relief for businesses across the UK.

“The Government should continue to listen to business and evolve the scheme in line with what’s happening on the ground.

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“Further, phased support may yet be needed for companies who are unable to operate for an extended period, or those who face reduced capacity or demand due to ongoing restrictions.

“Government guidance signals big changes for the way that many businesses operate, and some firms will now need time to plan and speak to their employees so that they can return to work safely.

“Alongside this guidance, businesses urgently need clarity on the future of Government support schemes, which must be adapted to help those firms who need to remain closed for an extended period or face reduced capacity or demand.”

The BCC survey also revealed that 71% of businesses surveyed have furloughed a portion of their staff, and most had received payments.

Very few businesses have not made any redundancies, however, and around a third said they would not be able to take staff off furloughing as restrictions ease.

Over a third of companies have either attempted to use the Bounce Back Loan scheme or have plans to access it, the Chambers said, but some had concerns that they would not able to repay the loan.


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Peter Flynn

Senior Editor and self confessed techie, bringing a variety of topical business tech news, help and advice in the UK. I have worked in various fields throughout my career such as a Systems Administrator, Security Consultant and other technical related roles, these days I concentrate on IT journalism and technical writing.

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