Midlands businesses voice their concerns and operating challenges

Dains Accountants most recent pulse poll demonstrates the fluidity of business thinking during the COVID-19 crisis.

Dated: 10 June 2020 Author: Richard McNeilly, Managing Partner

Having dealt with the many and varied initial challenges that the crisis has thrown up, business owners are now turning to the burning question of how they can make their business viable for the long term.

The pulse poll is not sector specific and it is certainly the case that different sectors face different issues. The fortunes of a retailer or a hospitality business could hardly be more different to those of a manufacturer in the healthcare sector.

Less than one month ago, the pulse poll revealed health and safety as the primary concern faced by business owners. This recent survey however reveals that over 60% of business owners are primarily concerned with a lack of trade and the ability to trade at normal levels. Worryingly almost 1/4 of businesses surveyed, also cite cash flow as a primary concern.

 Primary Business Concerns Graph

Nearly 60% of business owners report business growth and profitability as the biggest challenge faced by their business in coming months. Incredibly, just 4% of business owners see BREXIT as their biggest challenge. Concerns still exist over Health and Safety and transitioning staff back to the workplace, scoring 10% and 8% respectively.

The outlook is predictably gloomy and when asked how they see prospects for 2020 – Uncertain, Challenging, Difficult and Bleak were the most often used phrases by respondents.

 Word cloud prospects for 2020

Given Government support, business is convinced that tax rises will follow. 64% of respondents felt that Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax would increase at the next budget, with 60% of respondents also confident of an increase in corporate tax and dividend rates.

Richard McNeilly, Managing Partner of Dains said ‘Business owners are resilient in nature and confidence is clearly fragile – the next few weeks will be pivotal in gauging whether we slip into deep recession or whether the UK economy and its otherwise thriving SME community can kickstart the recovery. “

Download the Poll Results here.

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