How long will businesses need to recover financially from COVID-19?

Eir NolsoeData Journalist
March 10, 2021, 11:57 AM UTC

About half of business decision makers expect their company to be completely recovered from the pandemic within a year

The UK economy is in its biggest slump in 300 years, but with promising vaccine progress the focus is shifting from putting out fires to recovery. Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s second Budget is a mixed bag for businesses with an extended furlough scheme, a big push for investment but also imminent tax hikes for large companies.

YouGov data from two weeks before the Budget shows that only one in ten businesses (10%) are left unscathed by the pandemic. A further 17% have already recovered, while the remainder still have some way to go.

Only 6% of decision makers expect their company to bounce back completely within three months, while some 9% reckon it will take three to six months. If these expectations are realistic, this means a third of all businesses (32%) will have recovered by mid-August.

One in six businesses (16%) pin their hopes on their finances being at pre-pandemic levels in six months to a year. This means half of businesses believe they will have recovered a year from now, rising to two thirds (65%) within two years.

Approaching a fifth are less optimistic, including 14% who expect their recovery to exceed two years, while 4% say their company’s finances never will mend completely.

The research also shows that a quarter of business decision makers (24%) say their company has taken out government loans to weather the pandemic. This figure rises to two in five among small businesses (37%), while it’s slightly lower among large companies (18%).

See the full results here