88% of operators need furlough extension announcement now, according to poll

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Trade thoughts: the poll questioned operators across the sector
Trade thoughts: the poll questioned operators across the sector

Related tags Lumina Intelligence Government Employment Legislation

Almost nine in 10 businesses need the Government to announce any continuation to the furlough scheme now rather than in the Budget next month, a survey has found.

The Hospitality Leaders Poll, conducted by Lumina Intelligence on behalf of The Morning Advertiser​, MCA​, Big Hospitality​ and Restaurant ​surveyed 156 operators across the sector.

An extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is one of the measures trade bodies are calling for at the Budget​ on 3 March.

UKHospitality has urged the Chancellor to continue to furlough scheme until the end of June.

This is alongside a reformed Job Retention Bonus, an extended repayment period for the Government-backed loans and a further deferral for tax payments until December.

Meanwhile, the poll also asked firms their opinions on the impact of Brexit on their business. Of the 56 respondents which are currently still trading for takeaway and delivery, almost a fifth (18%) said they hadn’t seen an impact on ingredients or prices due to Brexit.

Brexit impact

More than one-in-10 (13%) had been affected by ingredients or prices and 5% weren’t sure. The remaining 64% are unable to trade at present.

The survey went on to ask how Brexit had impacted businesses in regards to stock and cost of products.

Half (50% had reported some impact of ingredient shortages, with 15% seeing a moderate impact, 10% a high impact and 5% no impact.

Similarly, 15% reported rising prices had a high impact on their business, 30% said a moderation impact, 10% no impact and almost half (45%) some impact.

Confidence levels

It questioned operators still unable to trade on what they anticipated from Brexit when they reopened.

The majority (63%0 said rising prices, almost a quarter (23%) anticipated no impact on ingredients or prices, 17% said only ingredient shortages and 16% were unsure.

The poll has also asked operators each week how confident they were about the future of their business.

In the latest edition, 45% were ‘quite confident’ – this was up on last week’s from 38%. However, this week 38% were ‘not confident’ – an increase from 33%.

Some 12% said they were ‘confident’ this week (down from 19%) and 5% were ‘very confident’ (down from 5%).

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