MSDC Business Survey Findings

The findings from MSDC Business Survey are now in. Perhaps due to the timing around Christmas the participation rate was quite low and dominated by very small businesses. Nonetheless there were no great surprises.

In summary

  • 93 completed responses received – service providers (business) and retail / wholesale operators at 22%
  • Responses dominated by micro businesses reflecting the weighting of these businesses within our economy
  • 51% have furloughed staff at an average of 62% of workforce and 23% plan to enrol staff in the Job Support Scheme
  • 77% of respondents are rated for business rates with the most commonly received form of grant / funding
    • Covid-19 Small Business Grant (69%)
    • Bounce Back loan / similar (37%) and
    • Covid-19 Discretionary Grant (26%)
  • Current operating conditions for most focus on a reduction in business activity – they also indicate other ways businesses have adapted
  • Biggest issues facing businesses over the next 6 months focus on
    • Cash flow and reduced customer numbers
    • Continued economic uncertainty
    • Lack of consumer confidence
  • Most businesses are planning to change and adapt over the next 6 months, there is a clear resilience only 8% are considering permanent closure
  • Priorities for economic recovery are clear – promote local businesses and protect existing jobs
  • Of the Government’s priorities for delivering economic growth and jobs, Backing Business was considered the most important for Mid Sussex and Green Recovery the least
  • There are opportunities to improve the digital experience and accessibility for businesses, while connectivity is OK; skills, pricing and speed are considered current barriers
  • There is a clear appetite for further information regarding digital initiatives and how businesses can directly benefit
  • Most businesses are open to future direct engagement
  • Plenty of scope for increasing membership of the Business Associations (currently c.20% of the businesses in the survey are members) as well as attendance at future Open for Business events

Full report.

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