The latest Government figures show 9.6 million jobs are currently furloughed with 1.2 million businesses choosing to furlough staff as a result of coronavirus.
Updated figures from the government’s scheme usage show that there are currently 9.6 million jobs furloughed in the UK and 1.2 million businesses are choosing to furlough employees. This figure has remained largely unchanged since early August as businesses continue to use the Job Retention Scheme.
Perfect Clean, a Scottish based cleaning services company, has examined the latest BICS report figures along with Government data to report on how coronavirus has affected businesses across Conwy and the UK.
According to the government stats, Conwy has seen the highest proportion of jobs furloughed in Wales at 9% higher than the Wales average of 7%.
In contrast, the regions with the lowest proportion of jobs furloughed are Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Torfaens at 6%.
Wales has also seen many businesses accessing government grants, with 68% of businesses receiving financial assistance, higher than average across the UK at 55%.
Business closures & disruptions to trading
The effects of coronavirus and lockdown have impacted turnover, with half of all businesses reporting a decrease in turnover, an increase since October. As pubs and restaurants were forced to close their doors across November, 79% of businesses in the accommodation and food service industry reported a drop in their takings.
One-third of all businesses say that turnover has remained the same as pre-COVID levels.
Across the board, 2% of companies permanently ceased trading in the last two weeks of November, and 7% expect to temporarily or permanently close a business site in the next two weeks.
SME businesses with nine or less employees have been hardest hit, with 17% reporting that they’re unable to trade due to the impacts of COVID-19.
The costs of business supplies have risen in some cases, with 13% of businesses reporting that prices have crept up since the pandemic. This shows that the disruption caused by the pandemic is affecting supply chains and profit margins.
Signals of recovery
While the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has clearly taken a toll on businesses across the UK, there are signs of recovery. 20% of the workforce are expected to have returned to their usual workplace, either from furlough or remote working.
Although now the tier system has come into place, the amount of people returning to their usual workplace is likely to be impacted.
Savill’s also reports an uptick in office premise demand in London and the South East, signalling that some businesses are intending to return to traditional office spaces in 2021 – and four out of five businesses believe their business will survive the next 3 months.