COVID-19 will worsen the UK’s north/south economic divide according to a study of 500 medium-sized business leaders, published today by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO.
The latest monthly Rethinking the Economy survey from BDO, revealed the biggest immediate operational concerns included making loan payments (34%) and managing international supply chains (31%).
When asked to consider the greatest threat to their business in 2021, paying back business loans and ongoing COVID-19 restrictions were each top of the list for 20% of company leaders respectively. Nationally the biggest concern is also paying back business loans with a quarter of UK company leaders highlighting this risk.
Commenting on the results in the Thames Valley, David Brookes, Managing Partner at BDO in Thames Valley said:
“Government measures brought in as a response to Covid-19 provided access to finance for companies through bounce back loans and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme providing a much-needed boost or breathing space for businesses. As a result, UK companies have taken on record levels of debt and repayment may present a challenge for those whose revenue hasn’t returned to pre-crisis levels.
“Nearly 60% of businesses in the region believe they will need additional financial support to be able to survive a second wave of COVID-19 this winter. With the right support ongoing, the region’s entrepreneurial businesses will rebuild their balance sheets and fortunes. The Government should place a firm focus on supporting the high-potential businesses that form the region’s economic engine. These businesses will help drive recovery through innovation and growth.”