A summary of what’s happened in the past six months
So much has happened in this time that it’s hard to keep track of everything so we’ll tell the story of six months in pictures…
The UK economy is 11.7% smaller than it was pre-lockdown, despite recovering some ground since April.
From Q2 (April to June), the economy contracted by a record 19.8% – almost a fifth.
By comparison the largest quarterly decline in the 2008 recession was 2.1%.
Almost all sectors, except pharmaceutical manufacturing, saw declines with the most precipitous coming from those that largely shut down due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
In the Hospitality sector, less than a quarter of businesses were actively trading between March and May and although there has been a recovery in all sectors, only retail sales are back above pre-pandemic levels.
Coronavirus job retention scheme
A total of 32% of all eligible jobs – 9.6 million – were furloughed for at least some time between March and June as part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).
Nearly half of younger workers were affected with 47% of employed 16-24 year olds being furloughed although this was skewed because they disproportionately work in the hospitality sector which had the greatest exposure.
The economic uncertainty surrounding lockdown and a potential second wave continues to hamper the employment numbers with companies holding off from recruiting.
Vacancies in all sectors are down with overall numbers down 50% on pre-pandemic levels.
There were 1.4 vacancies per 100 employee jobs in the three months up to August 2020, which is down 2.7 from the same period last year. This will lead to more competition for vacancies including more overqualified applicants applying than usual.
The Centre for Retail Research has crunched the numbers on the number of retail casualties this year and found that just over 13,000 store units had closed their shutters with the loss of just over a quarter of a million jobs as a result.
With three months of the year to go there is every probability that they will be higher than last years non-Covid afflicted figures of 16,000 closures and 143,128 lost positions. Store closures are 24.8% higher than they were at this stage in 2019.
If you’re a business owner or director you’ve probably been fighting your own battles this year so fiercely that you might not have time to take a step back and look outside to see how the war is going outside of your trench.
Not well – and with winter on the way even a bumper Christmas season, which is by no means certain, might not be enough to save some businesses.
With the ongoing threat of local lockdowns ready to be sprung anywhere in the country with only a few days notice, now is the time to make the changes that could save your business because December might be too late.
We can quickly analyse your businesses situation and your prospects and help you come up with a plan to save and secure your company if it’s viable.
Alternatively, it might be more advantageous to take a time out, look at restructuring the company’s debts to give it some breathing space and room to maneuver and begin 2021 with renewed drive and freedom to operate.
Whatever you decide – the sooner you get in touch, the more options you’ll have at your disposal and this year that could be the difference between having a business next year or not.