That is according to a study of almost 30,000 new and growing businesses in the UK by analyst Beauhurst, which has warned any national financial recovery will be impeded if these “economic powerhouse” firms are not targeted with support.
Beauhurst analysed various factors to determine the risk facing each business, such as whether their premises had been closed, social distancing had prevented them providing a product or service, or they were having to offer their products at a reduced cost.
Of the Scarborough firms tracked by Beauhurst, 56% were classed as ‘at risk’ in April.
That includes 17% at severe risk, meaning they have suffered serious disruption to their operations, and 11% that were critical, and facing an “existential threat” to their ability to continue trading.
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The remainder were at moderate risk – although that means they have still suffered disruption “beyond mere inconvenience”.
The data tracks start-up businesses alongside so-called scale-ups, which are established companies that have moved beyond their initial phase to focus on growth.
Beauhurst said regional inequalities were clear, with a high concentration of severely at risk businesses in the South West and devolved nations.
London, meanwhile, is home to the highest proportion of potentially positively impacted companies (17%), which Beauhurst put down to an abundance of tech companies.
Henry Whorwood, head of research and consultancy at Beauhurst, said start-up and scale-up companies will be integral to the UK’s productivity as it moves towards an economic recovery.
He said: “The companies we track are the UK’s economic powerhouse. They employ millions of people, have received billions in investment and grants, and operate in sectors as diverse as AI and catering.
“It’s therefore crucial to understand how the Covid-19 epidemic is impacting these businesses.”
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