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Coronavirus: March 2020 - The Impacts on Business


During this difficult time for everyone in the UK, the DMA wants to understand the key concerns and challenges businesses are facing so that we can represent our industry effectively to Government and get the support you need. The findings highlight that many businesses in our community are not confident that they will survive the economic impact of the lockdown. That’s why the DMA is continuing to lobby the UK Government to address key concerns of our industry, including extending the job retention scheme and ensuring businesses have additional support on business rates.

Chris Combemale, CEO of the DMA, said: “It’s clear from these results that many businesses in our community have already seen a dramatic reduction in revenue, as many companies across the economy will have in recent weeks. The unprecedented Government response has been welcomed by our members, who are taking full advantage of the support provided. The DMA has already taken action on some of the key concerns for our industry to help safeguard the future of their businesses. Earlier this week, we called for urgent reform of the CBILS to remove personal guarantees and ensure easier access to these vital funds, which Government listened to and we expect adoption rates of this to continue to increase over the coming weeks.”

Key findings from this first phase of nearly 100 responses from across the DMA community, collected during the last week of March, include:

  • Many businesses already estimate that they’re operating at just over half (53.6%) ‘Business as usual’, with just 25% confident they can last longer than six months at the current level
  • One in five (22%) businesses believe they can continue to operate at current levels for less than three months, rising by another one in five (18%) for six months – with a third (34%) unsure how long they can continue
  • Nearly two-thirds of businesses are looking to Government schemes for help (63% definitely/likely applying for at least one)
  • Deferring VAT payments (54%), the job retention scheme (46%) and time to pay service (40%) the most common
  • Encouragingly, most staff feel they have the technology they need to make working from home both easy (94%) and productive (93%)
  • Most people also report having confidence their business leadership (86%) and that they’re putting the health of staff first (92%)
  • The majority of those surveyed (86%) expect the financial impact on their businesses of Coronavirus over the coming months to be negative, with many (52%) already seeing this concerning international trade
  • Key concerns for the 86% of businesses reporting being worried about the pandemic’s impact include the cancellation or cutting-back of client work/output (61%) and the knock effect on the business/cashflow (46%)

Combemale continues: “The DMA will continue to work tirelessly, lobbying government and providing the latest guidance, to secure the future of all the businesses that make up the data and marketing community. To support our industry, we have already called on the Chancellor and UK Government to grant an immediate extension of the job retention scheme to six months, which is essential as it will take months after the lockdown is over for revenues to return to normal. Our members also require urgent relief on business rates for the offices that are completely empty while 95% of our industry is working from home.”

The DMA’s Coronavirus Survey will remain open over the coming months, so please continue to share how the outbreak is affecting you, your organisation and the industry:

Full results of the survey are available to download here:

Coronavirus: March 2020 – The Impacts on Business

The DMA has gathered information from the UK Government and partners to help with the running of your business at this time. We are also sharing a daily digest of the latest announcements impacting the data and marketing industry. Both are available here:

Coronavirus: Advice and Help

Coronavirus: The Daily Digest

Hear more from the DMA

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