Posted on 8th October 2020
A national survey of construction companies published by Worthing and Gatwick-based chartered accountants MHA Carpenter Box, alongside their national association MHA, reveals a stark divide in how construction companies in the South East and beyond have fared during the COVID-19 crisis.
In line with national trends, almost half (49%) of companies said the impact of COVID-19 has been substantial; 44% stated it had had only minimal impact on their business; and only 5% described the damage was critical. Future expectations also showed a divide, with almost a third reporting that business activity was now back to normal, while 30% believed it would take over a year to return to pre-pandemic levels.
The biggest concern, shared by 61% of respondents, is economic uncertainty. Supply chain disruption also ranked high on the list of worries, mentioned by 45% of respondents, with 32% concerned about cashflow, which reflects the industry’s strong balance sheets, low debt risk and improved turnover pre-pandemic.
Commenting on the results of the survey, Robert Dowling, Head of Construction and Real Estate at MHA and MHA Carpenter Box, said: “Construction businesses in the South East have generally adapted well since lockdown was lifted. They are managing sites to ensure activity can continue, whilst adhering to social distancing measures by spreading workforces around sites.
“Inevitably there are delays and completion dates are being put back, which in turn is expected to have some impact on funding by increasing the cost of capital.
“The future however is very uncertain. Government projects are now the most likely source of revival for the sector; housebuilding, although currently buoyed up by strong demand is likely to suffer from a rise in unemployment; and commercial building is unlikely to thrive, with many companies questioning whether they need as much office space as before.”
"I am delighted to have a long-standing relationship with the BHBPA. Since its foundation the Association has gone from strength to strength and there is no doubt that it has brought huge benefits to its members and the business community as a whole through the partnerships it has formed with the local authorities, Sussex Police and local organisations. It is paramount that Burgess Hill businesses have an effective collective voice."
"The BHBPA is the most effective and dynamic business organisation I have ever worked with in over 30 years in Local Government. It has a very active and large membership whose points of view are taken seriously by all government structures. Peter Liddell does an excellent job in providing unique and enjoyable networking opportunities where members interact and discuss points of mutual interest. It provides a forum for businesses to discuss common issues, to share experiences and to play a powerful and meaningful role in the Burgess Hill community. The BHBPA provides important and credible support for all its members and ensures that their best interests are represented where necessary. "
"“Sutton Winson have been members of the BHBPA for around 7 years. We have found it a great way to keep in touch with Burgess Hill businesses and to meet with likeminded people. It’s not just another “networking” group, as it tackles the real issues and gets things done”"
"The BHBPA is an energetic and vocal organisation that connects and empowers and informs the local business community acting as an effective conduit to local authority and other organisations. We are proud to be part of that community and the association."