Small to medium-sized manufacturers in England are being urged to take part in a major survey detailing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on industry.
The Manufacturing Barometer, which is conducted by South West Manufacturing Advisory Service (SWMAS) and the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP), went live today and is inviting companies to highlight the issues they are facing and the support they need to overcome them.
Companies are being asked to highlight changes in production volumes, difficulties in retaining employees, supply chain disruption and any major ‘pivots’ they are doing to supply new markets, including answering the call for more medical equipment.
They will also be given the opportunity to give their thoughts on existing business support packages, whilst identifying other areas of assistance they may require, such as cashflow, HR advice and skills retention.
“Big businesses have their voice, but in these unprecedented times it is important that we give SMEs a platform to have their say on the current Coronavirus crisis,” explained Simon Howes from SWMAS.
“Our quarterly Manufacturing Barometer, the largest survey of its type in England, gives them this exact chance and we are looking for hundreds of firms to take part before it closes on Friday 17th April.”
He continued: “The information will be communicated directly to Government so will hopefully inform future policy and support as we continue to get to grips with Covid-19 and its wide-reaching ramifications.
A key concern already raised by many in the SME community is that the Government’s business support announcements are put into action as quickly as possible.
“The Business Interruption Loan Scheme for SMEs looks like a good idea on the surface, but we need high street banks to be on board with the spirit in which it was announced, making the process a lot simpler and more flexible than it has been in the past,” commented Mark Baker, CEO of Nuneaton furniture manufacturer, Zero Point 8.
“I’m confident we can emerge from this global crisis stronger, but we need the Chancellor’s measures to combat the economic impact of Covid-19 to be implemented quickly, so that vital money gets to the people and companies who need it most,” he added.
The Manufacturing Barometer will be showcasing initial findings on Thursday April 2nd and then again at the end of the month to highlight how SME manufacturers are adapting and the ongoing challenges/opportunities they are facing.