More than 1m businesses have warned that they could not survive another three months of the coronavirus lockdown, after the prime minister last night announced some changes to the restrictions.
More than 250,000 businesses said they will not be able to survive if trading conditions remain as they are for another month, according to the latest research.
In total 1.1m firms said a further three months would put them out of business.
One in six firms will need at least a year to recover, dampening hopes of a quick bounce back, and UK gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to remain below 2019 levels until 2022.
The research by Cebr and Opinium was published as the prime minister last night announced modifications to the UK’s coronavirus lockdown.
In a speech last night Boris Johnson said employees who can not work from home should be “actively encouraged” to go back to work, avoiding public transport.
He also set out a “road map” for ending the coeonavirus lockdown. The second stage will include the “phased reopening of shops” and some primary-age pupils returning to school on 1 June at the earliest.
Stage three, which will begin no sooner than 1 July, will allow some hospitality venues and public places to reopen “provided they are safe and enforce social distancing”.
It is understood that this could include outdoor dining areas, with pubs potentially shut for longer.
James Endersby, chief executive at Opinium said: “The damage inflicted on UK businesses by the pandemic and lockdown is colossal, and the figures make for very sombre reading.
“The business impact is felt in almost every region, sector, business size and at almost every level of employment. It’s unavoidable.
“With more than a quarter of a million businesses fearing they won’t survive if trading conditions remain as they are for another month, and a million businesses unable to last for three more months of lockdown, many will be desperately hoping the conditions for easing lockdown will be met as soon as possible.”