Central South mid-tier businesses predict sharp recovery once vaccine rolls out
- 94% of Central South’s mid-sized businesses say they will recover from COVID-19 within a year once a vaccine is made available; over half (65%) predict a recovery in just six months
- A third (32%) of businesses are making significant changes to business plans after recent positive vaccine news
- Half (51%) of region’s businesses feel optimistic about the UK’s economic recovery
Central South businesses are predicting a sharp recovery once COVID-19 vaccines roll out, according to new data.
Buoyed by news of vaccine trial successes, over half (65%) of mid-tier businesses surveyed in the region predict they will fully recover within just six months once a vaccine for COVID-19 is made available. And 94% predict that they will recover within a year of a vaccine roll-out.
The latest BDO Rethinking the Economy survey found that 32% of respondents have already made significant changes to their 2021 business plans following the news of likely vaccines.
Over half of businesses (51%) also reported feeling more optimistic about the UK’s economic recovery compared with three months ago.
Despite the optimism around a potential vaccine, more than a third of businesses say that the current national restrictions are their most immediate business concern. While 38% of businesses say they have furloughed additional staff following the new restrictions and extension of the Job Retention Scheme, suggesting that businesses are still grappling with uncertainty in the run-up to Christmas.
More than a third (35%) of businesses also plan to invest in technology to support home working in the next six months, suggesting businesses expect employees working from home or working flexibly to remain the norm.
Commenting on the findings, Steve Le Bas, partner at BDO in Southampton, said: “The news of potential vaccines is really encouraging and has given businesses across the region a much-needed boost; however, there is still some way to go with significant challenges still ahead.
“Businesses will still need to survive a difficult winter on low cash reserves, coupled with uncertainties about additional lockdowns and varying regional restrictions. But we are finding that many businesses are starting to feel optimistic about the future and are making plans accordingly.
Notes to editors
Medium-sized businesses are defined as businesses with revenue between £50-£350m. The survey was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of BDO in July 2020.
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