Union Street Aberdeen

A SURVEY has found more than half of Scottish firms (58%) can be up and running within a week of lockdown relaxing or ending.

But it also revealed that up to 87% of businesses have said loss of income is their chief risk to survival while a further 63% cite declines in cash flow as their most significant threat.

The findings were in a poll carried out by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

Over one in five businesses (22%) said they face imminent collapse in the next two months while 43% fear they won’t be able to survive if lock down conditions persist.

These figures represent a small decrease in risk compared to previous survey data which found that catastrophic declines in income and cash caused by lock down conditions meant almost half (48%) of companies faced collapse in the upcoming quarter.

The poll shows that while the vast majority of businesses in Scotland continue to fear for their survival, there are signs companies are benefitting from access to a range of government support schemes.

However, the vast majority (69%) said they would need clear advice and guidance from government to make a recovery. This need outstripped calls for further financial support, which was still deemed necessary by 54% of respondents.

Dr Liz Cameron, Scottish Chambers of Commerce chief executive said:  “Scottish businesses are bruised and it is still the case some are likely to fail. But those that are ready and able to get back to work are showing some signs of confidence they could make it through.

“What is clearly needed now is guidance, specific to sectors, on how to return to work in a way that is safe for employees, customers and the wider population.” 

The survey showed that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was by far the most used scheme with 65% of businesses in Scotland surveyed having accessed it.