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Survey reveals deep industry concern over coronavirus

UK: A survey of engineering services businesses has revealed that 93% are “concerned or very concerned” about the impact of coronavirus on their business over the next six months.

According to initial responses to the new survey by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) and SELECT, the Scottish electrical contractors’ association, reveals that over 60% of respondents are “very concerned” about coronavirus. Only 1%  of respondents suggested they were “unconcerned”.

Half of the engineering services respondents (51%) said that they have already encountered “delays and disruptions to current projects”, with 61% of larger businesses reporting current disruption. Around half of respondents already report delays and disruption to future work. Over half of respondents (53%) said they were now preparing business contingency plans as a result of developments, a figure which rose to 71% in larger businesses.

The most commonly cited business activity in response to coronavirus to date is reducing business travel and asking or allowing staff to work from home, followed by business contingency planning. 

However, around 10% of businesses say they have shut down at certain premises or sites, and over 10% of respondents also say they are updating their contracts and looking into alternative suppliers.

“Though these are just preliminary findings, the sheer scale of the disruption to the sector is alarming,” claimed BESA director of legal and commercial Debbie Petford. We will be working around the clock to provide as much guidance as possible to our members, and calling on the government to keep providing additional stimulus and support as the situation evolves, to ensure businesses make it to other side of this crisis in one piece.”

“ECA is aware that many businesses are already encountering work delays, site access issues and cancellations, commented ECA CEO Steve Bratt.

The survey, which is still live, is said to have already received over 600 responses from across the industry, including nearly 180 from larger businesses in the sector. The coronavirus situation is fast moving and further survey responses are expected to show increasing impact on the industry in the days ahead.

Related stories:

BESA seeks information on coronavirus impact17 March 2020
UK: Leading associations in the engineering services industry have launched a survey to gather information on the current and anticipated business impact of the coronavirus. Read more…

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