Majority of UK firms have less than three months' cash reserves

A significant number of UK firms face the prospect of running out of cash within three months, according to a survey carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

The BCC's first Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker polled over 600 firms between 25 and 27 March.

It revealed that the majority of firms reported a significant decrease in their revenue from both the UK and overseas. The survey also found that cashflow was a major concern, with 62% of firms having three months', or less, cash in reserve, and 18% having less than a month in reserve.

Almost half of respondents are expected to furlough at least 50% of their workforce in the next week. The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has also changed working practices, with two-thirds of businesses now using remote working and half using videoconferencing.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the BCC, said: 'The coronavirus pandemic has taken a heavy toll on business and economic activity across the UK.

'While businesses have welcomed the unprecedented size and scope of the government support packages, our findings highlight the urgent need for that support to reach businesses on the ground as soon as possible. The majority of firms cannot wait weeks or months for help to arrive.'

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