As the UK Government announces the UK’s roadmap to exit lockdown and begin economic recovery this year, Tim Vine, Head of Finance & Risk Solutions at Dun & Bradstreet has shared his thoughts on what this means for the UK’s industry’s – most notably the hospitality industry.
He said: “While businesses across the UK will welcome government plans to ease lockdown restrictions over the coming weeks, the re-opening timeline for the hospitality sector is likely to cause concern for the industry. The latest analysis from Dun & Bradstreet’s Covid Impact Index reveals that food and accommodation businesses continue to be the most significantly impacted industry in the UK, with a rating of 9 on a 1 (most impacted) to 100 (least impacted) scale, compared to an average across all industries of 51. With businesses in the hospitality sector now facing a further seven weeks of closure at least, many companies will face a challenging and uncertain start to 2021.
“A year of lockdown restrictions has taken its toll on UK business, and although our latest trade data shows business failures and liquidations have dropped by 34% from 2019 to 2020 due to government loans and support schemes, our trade payment performance data paints a different picture – highlighting a significant decrease in the number of businesses paying bills on time. The latest data shows that overall payment performance fell from 47.3% in March 2020 to 41.8% in December 2020.
“Having access to data and analysis to inform business decisions is even more critical in an uncertain environment, and businesses can use information such as payment performance and credit history to predict the likely impact of continued disruption on their cash flow. Data is essential to both mitigate risk to protect the future financial health of a business, but can also be used to identify opportunities for growth that will be so important to the recovery of the UK, and global, economy.”