Nearly a third of Suffolk businesses surveyed fear coronavirus could send them bankrupt
PUBLISHED: 11:34 11 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:46 11 March 2020
Nearly a third of Suffolk businesses which took part in survey fear coronavirus could send them bankrupt
The survey, conducted by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, found that 64% of the 133 businesses which responded have already been affected and many are changing the way they work to combat the virus.
Among the most common problems caused by the disease are supply chain disruption - affecting 43% of businesses that responded - and problems with their customers which 20% of people mentioned.
MORE: Everything we know so far about coronavirus in Suffolk
Other issues included staffing problems caused by the disease, the cost of deep cleaning premises, and restrictions imposed on travel.
In response to coronavirus over half of businesses are working more flexibly, and 28% are offering sick pay to employees who have to self-isolate.
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Two thirds are giving their employees and customers hygiene advice, but only 9% are stockpiling items.
Paul Simon, Suffolk Chamber's head of communications, said: 'Our research shows that the majority of Suffolk businesses are already being affected by COVID-19 and are adapting as best they can.
'This self-reliance is encouraging, but smaller businesses in particular will soon be really up against the harsh realities of cash flow problems, lost orders and staff shortages.'
If the economic impacts were to continue for two to three months businesses concerns would increase considerably.
Over 80% said they would lose money, and 70% would be less productive.
Over half may have to close their premises for a short period of time and 28% fear that the impact would cause them to go bankrupt.
Mr Simon said: 'The fact that nearly three out of 10 businesspeople are worried about the viability of their organisations over the next quarter is a clear call out for massive, but appropriate, Government support.
'Today's budget is, therefore, vital for this county's immediate prosperity.'
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