NEW research has revealed that two in five (38%) small construction businesses fear their company is at risk of closure as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
A survey of 840 small business owners and self-employed tradespeople within the construction industry, released by small business insurer Simply Business, also showed that the pandemic is set to cost them £12,891 each on average – including lost work, earnings and loan repayments.
35% of respondents said they’re concerned about running out of money, with 37% admitting they have had to borrow money from friends and family to stay afloat. 60% have been able to apply for a government grant or loan, helping to relieve some of the financial pressure. 41% are worried about losing customers or jobs.
Despite these challenges, 24% of respondents are still optimistic about their business after Covid-19, with 10% even feeling confident enough to start a new business.
Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business said, “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.”