BCC survey suggests firms ready for gradual reopening of UK economy

The latest Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker survey carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has suggested that UK businesses are ready for a gradual reopening of the UK economy and will 'embrace the new normal'.

According to the BCC, the vast majority of survey respondents reported high levels of readiness to restart operations as the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown restrictions ease. 89% require three weeks or less to reopen.

75% of businesses agreed that they could implement social distancing measures, whilst 70% stated that they can make provisions to enable employees to work remotely. A further 61% said they could stagger work arrival times.  

Additionally, the survey revealed that 71% of firms have furloughed a portion of their workforce, and nearly three quarters of these businesses have submitted a claim to the furlough scheme and received payment.

Commenting on the survey, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the BCC, said: '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.'

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