Three years of innovation has occurred in the space of just three months due to lockdown, according to a new report.
More than half a million businesses have changed or are altering their operating model, with a fifth of those surveyed by “Be The Business” introducing new services.
Be The Business chief executive Tony Danker, who joins the CBI as director-general in November, said that the innovation seen over the past three months was “testament to the tenacity and latent entrepreneurial spirit of British business in the face of hostile economic conditions”.
He credited the innovation of businesses for the early signs of an economic recovery, saying that the study “shows that a quick and strong recovery is down to the choices that business owners make in the next few months. We must give them cause to choose ambition over fear.”
However, the report highlights continuing concerns from businesses about the future. It suggests that one in four companies believe their turnover in two years’ time will be lower than in 2019, while only 37pc think it will be higher.
Employment concerns continue too, as three fifths of businesses have had to furlough workers, and businesses surveyed expect to have to lay off about one in 10 furloughed staff. According to the survey, a quarter of businesses have had to make redundancies.
Craig Beaumont of the Federation of Small Business said: “Many small businesses have changed their operations to join the fight against the virus in many ways, by changing the product they make, supporting NHS and other frontline workers, and connecting with more people online… they have proven why they are the backbone of the UK economy.”