Two in five construction businesses fear Covid-19 threat

Two in five construction businesses fear Covid-19 threat

Two in five (38%) small businesses operating in construction fear their business is at risk as a result of the coronavirus, according to a new report.

A survey of 840 small business owners and self-employed tradespeople within the construction industry, released by small business insurer Simply Business, also reveals that coronavirus is set to cost them £12,891 each on average – including lost work, earnings and loan repayments. Two fifths (37%) are also very concerned about the future of their business.

Worryingly, one third (35%) said they’re concerned about running out of money, with one in three (37%) admitting they have had to borrow money from friends and family to stay afloat.

When it comes to financial support from the government, which has proven a lifeline for many tradespeople, three in five (60%) have been able to apply for a government grant or loan, helping to relieve some of the financial pressure they’re facing.

Looking ahead, the study also revealed how those within the construction sector feel about life after coronavirus – with two in five (41%) worried about losing customers or jobs from the pandemic.

But despite these challenges, a quarter (24%), said they still felt optimistic about their business after coronavirus. One in 10 (10%) even feel confident enough to start a new business.

Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, commented:

“No business has been able to escape the impact of the pandemic – and that’s no different for self-employed tradespeople or businesses in the construction industry. They’re the lifeblood of the economy, and with many of these at risk of permanent closure, so much is at stake for our local communities and wider economy.

“Tradespeople and those in the construction industry have been hit hard from the coronavirus pandemic, and despite being one of the first industries allowed to return to work, it’s clear that for many the damage has already been done.

“Small business and the self-employed hold the key to how well we’ll be able to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic. Time and again their determination has kick-started the UK’s recovery, and we’re inspired by their resilience.”

Simply Business has launched a free Financial Support Checker to help small businesses, landlords and the self-employed to quickly determine what financial support and schemes are available to them during the coronavirus pandemic.

A simple questionnaire takes business owners just a few minutes to complete and will point them towards relevant government financial support.

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