BUSINESSES in two counties continue to plummet as a third admit they will decrease the size of their workforce in the next three months.

Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Local Enterprise Partnership, have released the results of the latest quarterly economic report, outlining the impact of Coronavirus on businesses during May and June 2020.

This Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) captures the impact of Coronavirus on businesses in Herefordshire and Worcestershire between Monday, May 18 and Monday, June 8. This data is the latest and most up-to-date publicly available report providing insights into the two counties’ business environment.

Ledbury Reporter:

The government is estimated to have borrowed £62.1 billion in April 2020, the highest borrowing in any month since records began in January 1993, to fund the unprecedented package of support offered to businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. For many businesses this support has been an invaluable lifeline.

The full report based on the survey said the next three months will be absolutely critical for businesses.

The report suggests that demand will need to resume, facilitated by social distancing, to ensure the UK economy can recover relatively swiftly from this economic shock.

The impact of this crisis is likely to vary dramatically across different sectors. Some have already seen a bounce back in demand and a “V shaped” recovery in their sales and order books. Others remain in flux due to supply chain disruption and wider structural scarring to their sector. The true extent of the damage will not be known for some months.

Sharon Smith, CEO of The Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The biggest challenge for businesses moving forward will be maintaining cash flow in a subdued economy.

“The easing of lockdown measures will need to do more than simply open businesses; consumers will need to have the confidence to go out and spend. Without a dramatic increase in demand and cash flow, the risk to the labour market will be significant.”