More than 900,000 businesses at risk of failing by April, research warns

A report published by the London School of Economics (LSE) has warned that there are more than 900,000 businesses at risk of failing by early April as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The LSE warns that a ‘major wave’ of bankruptcies for UK firms looms as COVID-19 business support schemes come to an end at the end of March and April.

15% of businesses are ‘at great risk’ of imminent closure, the LSE stated, with micro-businesses (those with fewer than ten employees) being particularly vulnerable.

The LSE is calling for further government support measures to aid businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Without such measures business closures could be well over three times higher by the end of the first quarter of 2021 than the first quarter of 2019.

Professor John Van Reenen, an author of the report, commented: ‘Without further policy action, businesses face a cruel spring of bankruptcy.’

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