487 small businesses in Crawley at risk of closing before spring

New analysis ahead of Small Business Saturday reveals almost 500 small businesses in Crawley might not make it to Spring.

Ahead of Small Business Saturday, the Labour Party has revealed many of the small businesses reopening this week may not make it to Spring due to the government’s failure to get a grip on the virus and the shrinking support available for small businesses. New analysis of official data reveals an estimated 487 small businesses in Crawley are worried they won’t survive the next three months. Almost 657 small businesses have seen turnover plummet by more than half – even before the second national lockdown was imposed.

Labour has also revealed that 1,293 small businesses in Crawley do not have cash reserves to last beyond three months. Yet, the vast majority of businesses required to close have received much smaller grants from government than they did during the first lockdown – with most receiving either just a third or half of what they received in March or nothing at all.

Crawley’s economy has already been harder hit than any other the country, with many of the town’s main employers forced to announce large redundancies following the government’s decision not to support their aviation industry, something every other major industrialised nation has done.

These new figures show the consequences of the government’s decisions are being felt well beyond the aviation industry, with businesses of every size now struggling to survive.

The analysis of the ONS ‘Business Impact of Coronavirus’ survey shows:

  • 15% of very small businesses and 9% of small businesses have low or no confidence of surviving the next three months. If this proportion is replicated in Crawley, this would represent almost 487 small businesses.
  • 20% of very small businesses and 16% of small businesses saw turnover plunge by more than 50% over a fortnight survey period, before the second national lockdown was imposed. This would represent almost 657 small businesses.
  • 10% of very small businesses and 6% of small businesses had no cash reserves, and a further 28% of very small businesses and 32% of small businesses had cash reserves to last them for under 1 month to 3 months. This would represent more than 1,293 small businesses.

Crawley Council Leader, Cllr Peter Lamb, said:

“Since last April it has been clear that Crawley would suffer more than anywhere else in the country due to the government’s restrictions. Yet, despite repeated correspondence with central government, not only has no additional support been provided, we still have yet to receive the funding Crawley residents were promised before the last General Election. It seems that as far as this government is concerned, Crawley simply doesn’t matter.”

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