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South East: Firms back pace of easing lockdown restrictions

By Jo Whittle
8 April 2021
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Nearly two-thirds of South East businesses support the pace of easing of lockdown restrictions, according to the latest data from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking research, with more than two-thirds ready to operate at close to full capacity when covid-19 restrictions are lifted from Monday, April 12.

When asked whether their business would have preferred or benefitted from a different pace of easing, 63% said they preferred neither a faster nor slower easing of restrictions. However, a net balance of 31% of firms said they would have preferred a faster route out of lockdown and just 6% said they would have preferred a slower easing of restrictions. More than two-thirds of those questioned (70%) said they will be able to operate at 80% capacity or more when restrictions for their sector are lifted, a higher proportion than in any other nation or region of the UK.

The results of the research come a week after Lloyds Bank’s Business Barometer research revealed that UK business confidence reached a one-year high during March, with a quarter (25%) of firms saying they were planning to create new jobs in the 12 months ahead. Business confidence in the South East rose to a 13-month high in March.

Paul Evans, regional director for the South East at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “After an extremely challenging year, it’s encouraging to see such high numbers of firms planning to operate at close to full capacity when trading resumes.

“Whatever the future holds, we’ll remain by the side of South East businesses as they emerge from the pandemic, working in partnership towards a brighter future.”

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