A survey by the Association of Practising Accountants (APA), with the support of East Midlands-based Duncan & Toplis, has shown that more than half of firms in the region have seen turnover reduce by more than 50%. Meanwhile, 44% have seen turnover reduce by more than 70%.
The survey of 1,018 businesses across the UK, including more than a hundred in the East Midlands has shed light on the critical challenges businesses face over the next three months.
This is slightly worse than the national average where 44% of UK businesses have seen turnover reduce by 50% or more, and just 33% having seen turnover reduce by at least 70%.
29% of businesses in the region do not have enough cash in the bank to survive longer than six weeks, compared to 26% nationally.
Of those who applied, 44% said the scheme worked well, compared to the national average of 16%.
The Association of Practising Accountants (APA) is a network of leading professional and business service firms providing support to over 14,000 businesses across the UK.
“This survey provides important information on the extent to which companies here and across the country have been affected by coronavirus and the government’s lockdown measures. The situation is clearly challenging, and it’s disappointing to see that businesses here may have been harder hit than in other parts of the country.
“If there is a positive side to this, it’s that businesses here have been able to take advantage of the support packages that have been made available and these are proving valuable in protecting jobs and keeping companies going. There is support being offered to a wide range of businesses and we are helping many of our clients to successfully secure this money. Things are tough, but we can help you get through this.”
“These figures underpin just how grave the situation is for many owner managed businesses across the UK right now. Given how challenging the next few weeks are likely to be, government needs to direct the right resources where they are most needed.
“Our research suggests that furloughing, as well the HMRC’s Time to Pay scheme (including deferring VAT and related taxes) have been critical for the survival of many businesses and their employees and are working well. However, there remain real challenges with the various Government backed loan schemes on offer with many of our clients reporting confusion over assessment criteria or unacceptable delays from participating lenders.”
The research, which was carried out between 15 and 23 April, included responses from 14 business sectors across nine UK regions.