42% of Timber Trade Federation members say COVID-19 is a high threat to their business, according to survey

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9th April 2020 16:39 - Construction

42% of Timber Trade Federation members say COVID-19 is a high threat to their business: A survey of Timber Trade Federation (TTF) members has found that around two-fifths (42%) believe that the COVID-19 outbreak is a 'high' threat to their business, with a quarter (26%) believing it to be a 'moderate' threat. 

The survey polled 31 members between 27 March and 3 April 2020 and found that when it comes to the threat coronavirus poses to the timber sector itself, concerns are even higher, with more than half (51%) saying the pandemic is a 'high threat', and three-quarters believing it to be a high threat to the UK economy. 

The impact of the current lockdown on the sector is one of the reasons why respondents believe the pandemic will have a severe impact upon the sector. As it stands today, four in ten (40%) report a decrease in cash flow, with a quarter saying the decrease has been 'significant'. Sixty-four percent of respondents said that one of their greatest concerns is the uncertainty of the timber supply chain, with the same percentage saying that the financial stability of the sector is a major concern. 

Almost seven out of the 10 respondents said they have already started to see their business affected in areas such as the payment practices of both suppliers and customers, and more than 60% of businesses polled have furloughed staff making use of the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The survey also found that nearly half the TTF members polled were looking to defer HMRC payments, while a quarter were considering the Coronavirus Business Interuption Loan to help them through the weeks and months ahead.

David Hopkin, Timber Trade Federation CEO, says:

“This report reflects how uncertainty in the construction sector is impacting the timber supply chain, with mixed messages between national, local and devolved government on whether to stay open.

​”While the measures taken by Government so far to support business may help in the short term, we will need to begin to see a plan for the other side of this crisis."

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