Second wave worse than no-deal Brexit, businesses tell BDO

The majority of mid-range businesses believe a second wave of Covid-19 will have a greater economic impact than a no-deal Brexit, according to new research carried out by BDO.

In the accounting firm’s ‘Rethinking the Economy’ poll of 500 mid-range business leaders, two thirds of those surveyed said a second wave was the greatest risk to the economy.

This sentiment is shared by businesses throughout the country, with greater London (87%) and the south east and west midlands (74%) being the most concerned.

Only a third of business owners said they were ‘‘adapting my business for Brexit’’, with their top business concerns primarily being loan payments and managing redundancies.

Paul Eagland, BDO’s managing partner, said: ‘‘Businesses are facing two major challenges and remain in survival mode. 

‘‘Covid-19 has pushed many of these businesses to rethink their operations, with almost a third still making changes to their businesses as a result of the pandemic.” 

He added: “The uncertainty around the virus, coupled with the complexities a no-deal Brexit could bring before the end of the year, leaves business leaders spinning a number of plates.

‘‘Looking ahead, sentiment around recovery is slightly more positive. Over the next six months, 41% of medium-sized businesses plan to make investments particularly in technology, and 40% plan to hire graduates or apprentices.’’

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