Coronavirus emergency pushes more than half a million UK businesses to the brink of insolvency

One in ten British businesses face a high risk of entering insolvency as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This equates to more than half a million (591,000) businesses pushed to the brink. Meanwhile, just over half (51%) of businesses state there is at least a small risk they will go insolvent due to the crisis, equating to nearly 3 million firms across the country. 

Launching today, the Opinium-Cebr Business Distress Tracker will keep a finger on the pulse of the challenges to UK plc, as firms across the country grapple with the unprecedented challenges brought about by the coronavirus crisis. The fortnightly Tracker polls 500 business across the country, representing a broad range of sectors and business sizes. 

Topline results

  • More than a quarter of a million businesses will not be able to survive if trading conditions remain as they are for another month. A second wave of infections and a subsequent lockdown could prove fatal for the business community – the tracker found 1.1 million businesses could not survive 3 more months of the lockdown. 
  • Tracker sheds the first light on how quickly the economy can rebound after the crisis. Businesses on average say they will need 6 months to return production to pre-crisis levels. 1 in 6 firms will need at least a year to recover, dashing hopes of an immediate bounce-back for the UK economy once restrictions are lifted. UK GDP forecasted to remain below 2019 levels until 2022. 
  • During the first 30 days of the national lockdown, businesses’ profits were down on average 29%.