A round-up of the latest business and Covid-19 news for our clients. Please talk to us if there is anything you need. Stay safe and keep your strength, we will get through this!

The latest economic news and indicators for the UK make gloomy reading and as we are in a lockdown they will probably remain so for the foreseeable future. Remember though, they should be taken for what they are – a snapshot at a particular point in time, and once the vaccination programme fully kicks in and lock down restrictions ease, we should see an improvement in our lives and businesses.

Retailers had their worst annual sales performance on record in 2020, driven by the loss of demand for fashion and homeware products, figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) show.

Food sales growth rose 5.4% in 2019, non-food fell about 5%, this is an overall fall of 0.3% in a year dominated by the Covid-19 impact.  This is the worst annual change since the BRC began collating the figures in 1995.

The latest Government surveys show for all businesses, excluding those who have permanently ceased trading, 11% of their workforce are on furlough leave, a decrease from 16% previously.

UK footfall overall is down by 38% compared to January 2020 and we can expect this to fall further as we stay in lockdown.

The Chancellor has stated that the UK economy “to get worse before it gets better” and that the new national restrictions were necessary to control the spread of coronavirus.

We expect to see further Government supports announced shortly and we will keep our clients fully informed of when and how these will be applied.

See: coronavirustheukeconomyandsocietyfasterindicators

What is interesting is that according to the most recent results from the Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (30 November to 13 December 2020), 84% of UK businesses were trading, an increase from 80% in the last survey (16 to 29 November). Clearly, this will fall in January, February and March as the lockdown continues.

What these figures do show to us is that businesses are resilient and adapting to the changes caused by the Pandemic.

Read the following posts for the latest business and Covid-19 news:

–  Government publishes plan for the largest vaccination programme in British history


–  Government to deploy first British-manufactured rapid lateral flow antigen tests for COVID-19


–  List of private providers of coronavirus testing


–  How to treat certain expenses and benefits provided to employees during coronavirus


–  Advice for pregnant employees


–  Letters from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy


–  MOT centre and tester guidance


–  Travel corridors and New Covid-19 test rule for UK arrivals


We are seeing some remarkable clients who have adopted new technologies to change the way they conduct business and distribute their goods or services. Talk to us about helping you pivot or repurpose your business and adapt for the future

Read the latest news and blogs from the Abrams Ashton team by visiting our news page.

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