UK manufacturers need £650m in April to survive 2020

UK manufacturers are facing a precarious future with 68 per cent reporting order books have halved in the last 30 days – while 67 per cent say they will run out of money before the end of the month without support.

By David Walsh
Sunday, 12th April 2020, 11:16 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th April 2020, 4:01 pm

Research based on a survey of 860 UK manufacturing businesses employing between one and 249 staff in March 2020 found half are seeking £643.5m CBILS (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan) funding before the end of April.

The survey was commissioned by fintech business lender MarketFinance.

CEO Anil Stocker said: “Manufacturers are in urgent need of support. All the industry indicators show orders are down and unlikely to recover much this year. They have been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak. A number of firms have had to shut their doors and some that remain open are pivoting to make products that support the national effort to contain the spread of the virus. It’s imperative that we back these businesses.”

Anil Stocker, CEO at MarketFinance.

Some 36 per cent of manufacturers surveyed are turning to their accountants for advice on what to do next before consulting their friends and family (19 per cent). One in five (18 per cent) are seeking advice from their bank manager. Business owners feel their accountants are the most accessible given the remote working environment.

Anil Stocker added: “Manufacturers turning to their accountants for support as their trusted advisors during this period of uncertainty. These accountants have the tools and know-how to support them in revising their cashflow forecasts, applying for loans and making contingency plans.

“It’s important for everyone – bank managers, accountants, financial advisors - to come together to support manufacturers. Business advisors will need to bring all their energy, skills and experience to save British manufacturers across the country.”

The Chancellor has announced a package to support businesses including government-backed and guaranteed loans, making available an initial £330bn of guarantees during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the Coronavirus Job Retention and VAT deferral schemes. BEIS has also announced changes to insolvency rules to help UK businesses which need financial rescue or restructuring to keep trading. For further information go to: gov.uk/business-support

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