Latest Chamber survey produces more data on business impacts of COVID-19 | April 2020

Results of the third Business Impact tracker are released

Date: Friday 24 April 2020

Statistics from the latest in a series of weekly surveys carried out by Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce have provided more insights into the impact of the COVID-19 emergency on businesses.

The Island’s biggest business network created its ‘Impact Tracker’ surveys to serve as a barometer of the pandemic’s impact on businesses and the effectiveness of the Government’s support measures. The results of the third weekly poll -– conducted between 17th and 23rd April – are based on responses from 372 businesses from a broad cross-section of sectors. 33% of respondents are self-employed and 47% represent SMEs with up to 10 employees. 55% of participants have been in business for over 10 years.

Highlights included:
• 50% of the respondents have applied for the Government’s business support scheme.
• 17% indicated that they were unsuccessful in meeting the criteria for any of the Government’s schemes.
• 40% of those who have applied for Government funding are now in receipt of the money which is an increase of 25% when compared to respondents from the previous week’s survey.

Chamber President Caren Pegg said: “We have to consider the fact that the polls are open to anyone, and the businesses that take part will vary each week – so we have to bear that in mind when trying to identify trends from one week to the next. Having said that, there do appear to be some encouraging signs, including an apparent increase in the number of businesses now in receipt of Government funding when compared to data in the previous week’s survey. Looking ahead to the next survey it will be interesting to see if the changes to Government guidelines regarding construction and related trades – which come into effect on April 24th – have any discernible impact on the views of respondents.”

Click here for a link to the full dashboard results

Headlines from the 17th to 23rd April survey include:

Cash flow
• Cash flow remains a concern with 35% stating they have reserves for one to three months. 22% have one month.

Businesses furloughing employees or reducing workforce
• Compared to the previous week’s survey, the number of businesses planning to offer temporary leave of absence has decreased by 15% to 35%.

Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce

• Again, compared to the previous week’s survey, those planning to permanently reduce their workforce over the coming week was 16% - the previous week’s figure was 26%.

Access to financial support
• Half of the respondents to this survey have applied for the Government’s Business Support Scheme and 30% have applied for the Salary Support Scheme.
• 17% did not meet with criteria for any of the Government schemes and a further 20% indicated they have applied but are still awaiting a response. 16% have not accessed any funding at this time.
• 40% of those who have applied for Government funding are now in receipt of the money which is an increase of 25% based on this week’s respondents.

Business continuity
• 42% of the respondents expect to require the Government’s financial assistance at some point over the next 3 months.
• 19% expect they will require up to £10,000.
• With the right Government support 74% of those that responded expect their business to remain viable.