218 businesses in Lincoln are at immediate risk of failing as they run out of cash, according to new research.
Professor Marc Cowling from University of Derby, and Professor Ross Brown from the University of St. Andrews have looked into the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the 100 largest cities and towns in the UK.
They found 218 Lincoln businesses at risk of imminent failure, which would put 2,552 workers into unemployment with little chance of finding a new job.
Professor Cowling said: “The immediate consequences of the COVID-19 crisis on the economies of our cities and towns will be extremely severe at a time when people are already struggling to make ends meet and pay their bills.”
Professor Ross Brown added: “Whilst the predicted job losses are spread widely across the UK, it is very apparent that the cities and towns outside of the wealthy South East of England will suffer more from business failure.”
Katrina Pierce, Development Manager for the Federation of Small Businesses said this data was “heart-breaking” but “unsurprising”.
She added: “This whole year has been a perfect storm of difficulties – closures, reduced footfall, gaps in financial support, supply chain issues – and for some there is nowhere left for them to go without cash in the bank, which is the blood in the veins of any business.”
Colin Davie, Executive Councillor for Economy and Place urged failing businesses to “get in touch today, get onto your business growth hub, get onto your district council, city council, economic lead officer, talk to them and […] say, I’ve got a business, I’ve got a problem[…] Let’s start talking. That’s the only way we can solve problems.”
Kate Ellis, Major Developments Director at City of Lincoln Council, said: “The challenges facing city centres and town centres due to the increase of online shopping and price competitiveness are well documented and have led to a range of government and local initiatives to redefine those places.
“Lincoln’s Town Investment Plan submitted in October 2020 sets out both how our economy is doing and how we and partners intend to respond to that.”
She added: “We are determined to continue to work with partners in ensuring that our city centre and the wider Lincoln economy recovers to remain a vibrant and thriving place.”
Although approached for a comment, The Chamber of Commerce have not yet responded to the data in question.