Survey highlights true impact on local business

23 Apr 2020


The analysis of North West results for ongoing British Chambers of Commerce survey of business affected by COVID-19 gives the first real picture of the impact on St Helens firms. The results reveal that the vast majority of  businesses surveyed have furloughed a proportion of their workforce, and are awaiting funds from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The results show that while one third of firms surveyed are not planning to furlough any staff, 58% have furloughed a proportion of their staff, and 11% of firms have furloughed all of their workforce.

Business continue to face a cash crisis, with 55% of surveyed firms reporting that they have three months cash in reserve or less.

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now live, with businesses able to claim up to £2,500 a month towards staff wages. Employers can apply for direct cash grants through HMRC’s new online portal – with the money expected to land in their bank accounts within six working days.

St Helens Chamber business support team has so far assisted over 680 businesses of all sizes, on the Government support packages available to them, and has provided practical support with financial forecasting and planning.

The team are also providing regular feedback to local and central government, via British Chambers of Commerce, on business concerns and issues. Chamber Members also have access to additional, expert support with HR and legal issues arising.

The Chamber are here to support businesses of all sizes. With the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, information and advice from Government can change quickly. A dedicated webpage, full of useful information and advice for businesses has been set up, and is kept under continuous review and is updated often.

To contact the business support team directly call 01744 742444 or email