1. Survey information

These questions are for wave 28 of the fortnightly Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) dispatched on the 6 April 2021. These are the most up-to-date survey questions.

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2. Trading Status of Your Business

Which of the following statements best describes your business's trading status?

  • Currently trading and have been for more than the last two weeks

  • Started trading within the last two weeks after a pause in trading

  • Paused trading but intends to restart in the next two weeks

  • Paused trading and does not intend to restart in the next two weeks

  • Permanently ceased trading

Where in the UK are your business's sites located?

  • Northern Ireland

  • Scotland

  • Wales

  • East of England

  • East Midlands

  • Greater London

  • North East of England

  • North West of England

  • South East of England

  • South West of England

  • West Midlands

  • Yorkshire and The Humber

  • Not sure

  • Not applicable

Where in the UK are your sites temporarily or permanently closed?

  • Northern Ireland

  • Scotland

  • Wales

  • East of England

  • East Midlands

  • Greater London

  • North East of England

  • North West of England

  • South East of England

  • South West of England

  • West Midlands

  • Yorkshire and The Humber

  • Not sure

  • None of our sites are temporarily or permanently closed

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3. Turnover and Profits

How does your business's turnover for the last two weeks, compare to normal expectations for this time of year?

  • Turnover has increased by more than 50%

  • Turnover has increased between 20% and 50%

  • Turnover has increased by up to 20%

  • Turnover has not been affected

  • Turnover has decreased by up to 20%

  • Turnover has decreased between 20% and 50%

  • Turnover has decreased by more than 50%

  • Not sure

What was the main reason for this change to your business's turnover in the last two weeks?

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

  • End of the EU transition period

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the end of the EU transition period

  • Other

  • Not sure

What are your expectations about turnover for the next two weeks?

  • Expect turnover to substantially increase

  • Expect turnover to increase a little

  • Expect turnover to stay the same

  • Expect turnover to decrease a little

  • Expect turnover to substantially decrease

  • Not sure                 

In the last two weeks, how has your business's profits compared with normal expectations for this time of year?

  • Profits have increased by more than 50%

  • Profits have increased by between 20% and 50%

  • Profits have increased by up to 20%

  • Profits have stayed the same

  • Profits have decreased by up to 20%

  • Profits have decreased by between 20% and 50%

  • Profits have decreased by more than 50%

  • Not sure

  • Not applicable

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4. Exporting

Has your business exported goods or services in the last 12 months?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Not sure

Which of the following best describes your business's exporting status?

  • Exported more than 12 months ago

  • Never exported and do not have goods or services suitable for export

  • Never exported but have goods or services that could be developed for export

  • Not sure

Where has your business exported goods or services to in the last two weeks?

  • EU only

  • Non-EU only

  • Both EU and non-EU

  • Never exported in the last two weeks

  • Not sure

Have you changed where you have exported your goods or services to in the last two weeks?

  • Changed from EU to non-EU

  • Changed from non-EU to EU

  • Changed in a different way

  • No changes made

  • Not sure

How does your business's exporting in the last two weeks compare to normal expectations for this time of year?

  • Exporting more than normal

  • Exporting as normal

  • Exporting, but less than normal

  • Not been able to export in the last two weeks

  • Not sure

Have you experienced any of the following challenges with exporting goods or services over the last two weeks?

  • Additional paperwork

  • Basing some staff in an EU member state to be allowed to work

  • Change in transportation costs

  • Closure of infrastructure used to export goods or services

  • Customs duties or levies

  • Destination countries changing their border restrictions

  • Disruption at UK boarders

  • Lack of hauliers to transport goods or lack of logistics equipment

  • Reduced demand for products and services

  • Work permit or visa restrictions, or lack of mutual recognition of professional qualifications

  • Other

  • Did not experience any challenges with exporting

What was the main cause of these exporting challenges?

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

  • End of the EU transition period

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the end of the EU transition period

  • Other

  • Not sure

How much disruption to your business have these challenges caused?

  • Severe disruption

  • Moderate disruption

  • Low disruption

  • No disruption

  • Not sure

Which of the following support options has your business benefitted from, to help with exporting challenges?

  • Customs and tariffs

  • Export licences

  • Financial support

  • Finding new markets

  • Finding new overseas contacts or customers

  • Legal issues

  • Transport and distribution

  • Understanding markets and demand issues

  • Other

  • None of the above

Let us know anything else that will help us understand your business's exporting in the last two weeks.

What are your expectations about your business’s sales from exports in the next 12 months?

  • Export sales will substantially increase

  • Export sales will increase a little

  • Export sales will stay the same

  • Export sales will decrease a little

  • Export sales will substantially decrease

  • Not sure

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5. Importing

Has your business imported goods or services in the last 12 months?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Not sure

Did your business import goods or services more than 12 months ago?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Not sure

Where has your business imported goods or services from in the last two weeks?

  • EU only

  • Non-EU only

  • Both EU and non-EU

  • Not imported in the last two weeks

  • Not sure

Have you changed where you have sourced your imports of goods or services from in the last two weeks?

  • Changed from EU to non-EU suppliers

  • Changed from non-EU to EU suppliers

  • Changed in a different way

  • No changes made

  • Not sure

How does your business's importing in the last two weeks compare to normal expectations for this time of year?

  • Importing more than normal

  • Importing as normal

  • Importing, but less than normal

  • Not been able to import in the last two weeks

  • Not sure

Have you experienced any of the following challenges with importing over the last two weeks?

  • Additional paperwork

  • Change in transportation costs

  • Closure of infrastructure used to import goods or services

  • Customs duties or levies

  • Destination countries changing their border restrictions

  • Disruption at UK borders

  • Lack of hauliers to transport goods or lack of logistics equipment

  • Suppliers not continuing to trade

  • Suppliers not customs ready

  • Other

  • Did not experience any challenges with importing

What was the main cause of these importing challenges?

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

  • End of the EU transition period

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the end of the EU transition period

  • Other

  • Not sure

How much disruption to your business have these challenges caused?

  • Severe disruption

  • Moderate disruption

  • Low disruption

  • No disruption

  • Not sure

Which of the following support options would your business benefit from, to help with importing challenges?

  • Understanding markets and demand issues

  • Finding new alternative supply chains

  • Finding new overseas contacts or customers

  • Transport and distribution

  • Legal issues

  • Customs and tariffs

  • Import licences

  • Other

  • None of the above

Let us know anything else that will help us understand your business's importing in the last two weeks.

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6. Supply Chains

Has your business made changes to supply chains due to the end of the EU transition period?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Not sure

  • Not applicable

Were these changes to supply chains made as a result of a new UK trade agreement?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Not sure

In which of the following ways has your business changed supply chains due to the end of the EU transition period?

  • Using more UK suppliers

  • Using more EU suppliers

  • Using more non-EU suppliers

  • Moving the supply chain away from the short straits crossings

  • Increasing the diversity in suppliers

  • Expanding to different modes of freight

  • Other

  • Not sure

Has your business had any extra costs due to the end of the EU transition period?

  • Additional transportation costs

  • Costs associated with changing supply chains

  • Costs associated with the storage of goods

  • Costs due to increased red tape

  • Costs incurred from wasted goods

  • Cost of setting up EU subsidiaries

  • Extra costs in the prices of goods and services imported

  • Extra tariffs or taxes

  • Other

  • Not sure

  • No extra costs

Was your business able to get the materials, goods or services it needed from the EU in the last two weeks?

  • Yes, the business has been able to get the materials, goods or services it needed

  • Yes, but the business had to change suppliers or find alternative solutions

  • No, the business has not been able to get materials, goods or services needed

  • Not applicable

Does your business intend to open any new branches or subsidiaries in the EU in the next 12 months?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Not sure

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7. Prices of Materials, Goods and Services

How did the prices of materials, goods or services bought by your business change in the last two weeks, compared with normal price fluctuations?

  • Prices increased more than normal

  • Prices did not change any more than normal

  • Prices decreased more than normal

  • Some prices increased, some prices decreased

  • Not sure

  • Not applicable

Please give more details about the prices of materials, goods or services that changed

How did the prices of goods or services sold by your business change in the last two weeks, compared with normal fluctuations?

  • Prices increased more than normal

  • Prices did not change any more than normal

  • Prices decreased more than normal

  • Some prices increased, some prices decreased

  • Not sure

  • Not applicable

Please give more details about how prices changed

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8. Sending Goods from GB to Northern Ireland

Has your business sent goods from GB to Northern Ireland in the last 12 months?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Not sure

What route did your business mainly use over the last 12 months, to send goods from GB to Northern Ireland?

  • From GB direct to Northern Ireland

  • From GB via Republic of Ireland

  • Other

  • Not sure

Has your business sent, or intended to send, goods from GB to Northern Ireland in the last two weeks?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Not sure

In the last two weeks, has the volume of goods your business would normally send from GB to Northern Ireland changed?

  • Volume has increased

  • Volume has stayed the same

  • Volume has decreased

  • Have stopped sending goods to Northern Ireland

  • Not sure

  • Not applicable

What were the reasons for this change in the volume of goods sent from GB to Northern Ireland?

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

  • Decreased demand for goods

  • Increased costs

  • Increased delays

  • Other

  • Not sure

  • None of the above

Has your business changed the main route for sending goods from GB to Northern Ireland in the last two weeks?

  • Changed to go via Republic of Ireland

  • Changed to go direct to Northern Ireland

  • No change made

  • Not sure

What were the reasons for this change in route?

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

  • Increased costs

  • Increased delays

  • Other

  • Not sure

  • Route has not been affected

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9. Stock

How do your business's stock levels for the last two weeks, compare to normal expectations for this time of year?

  • Stock levels are higher than normal

  • Stock levels have not changed

  • Stock levels are lower than normal

  • Not sure

  • Not applicable

In the last two weeks, what has had the greatest impact to your business's stock levels?

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

  • End of the EU transition period

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the end of the EU transition period.

  • Other

  • Not sure

Please explain this difference in stock levels in more detail

Is your business stockpiling any goods or materials?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Not sure

Where are you sourcing these stockpiled goods or materials from?

  • UK suppliers

  • EU suppliers

  • Non-EU suppliers

  • Not sure

Which of the following goods or materials are you stockpiling?

  • Agricultural products

  • Chemicals

  • Food

  • Manufacturing parts

  • Metals and materials

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Other consumer goods

  • Other

  • Not sure

Where are the stockpiled goods or materials being stored?

  • UK

  • EU countries

  • Non-EU countries

  • Not sure

Which storage solutions are you using for stockpiling these goods or materials?

  • Building new storage

  • Renting new storage

  • Using more of our current storage

  • Other

  • Not sure

Please tell us more information about the goods or materials you are stockpiling.

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10. Access to Financial Support

Has your business applied for any of the following grants?

  • Local Restrictions Support Grant - England

  • Local Restrictions Support Scheme - Northern Ireland

  • Strategic Framework Business Fund - Scotland

  • Lockdown Business Fund - Wales

  • Not sure

  • Not applied for any of these grants

Has your business received any of the following grants?

  • Local Restrictions Support Grant - England

  • Local Restrictions Support Scheme - Northern Ireland

  • Strategic Framework Business Fund - Scotland

  • Lockdown Business Fund - Wales

  • Not sure

  • Not received any of these grants

Has your business received any of these other grants?

  • Small business grant

  • Sector-specific grant

  • Tradeshow access grant

  • Additional Restriction Grant – England

  • Business Contingency Fund Grants - Scotland

  • Business Development Grant – Wales

  • Not sure

  • Not received any of these grants

Which governments in the UK provided the small business grant, or grants?

  • Northern Ireland Executive

  • Scottish Government

  • UK Government - England only

  • Welsh Government

  • Not sure

Which governments in the UK provided the sector-specific grant, or grants?

  • Northern Ireland Executive

  • Scottish Government

  • UK Government - England only

  • Welsh Government

  • Not sure

Has your business received any government-backed loans or finance agreements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Not sure

Are you using, or intending to use, either of the following schemes?

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

  • Kickstart Job Scheme for young people

  • Recovery Loan Scheme

  • Not sure

  • Not using, or intending to use, either of these schemes

How long do you think your business's cash reserves will last?

  • No cash reserves

  • Less than 1 month

  • 1 to 3 months

  • 4 to 6 months

  • More than 6 months

  • Not sure

How much confidence does your business have that it will survive the next three months?

  • High confidence

  • Moderate confidence

  • Low confidence

  • No confidence

  • Not sure

What is your business's risk of insolvency?

  • Severe risk

  • Moderate risk

  • Low risk

  • No risk

  • The business is insolvent

  • Not sure

How has your business's risk of insolvency changed in the last two weeks?

  • Risk has increased

  • Risk has stayed the same

  • Risk has decreased

  • Not sure

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11. Operational Performance

In the last two weeks, approximately what percentage of your business's workforce were:

  • On partial or full furlough leave

  • Working at their normal place of work

  • Working from home instead of at their normal place of work

  • On sick leave or not working due to coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, self-isolation or quarantine

  • Made permanently redundant

  • Other

Of those partially and fully furloughed, what percentage are fully furloughed?

  • Approximate percentage of furloughed staff who are 'fully furloughed'

  • Not sure

In the last two weeks, approximately what percentage of your workforce have:

  • Moved from homeworking to the normal workplace

  • Moved from the normal workplace to homeworking

  • Returned from furlough to homeworking, either fully or partially

  • Returned from furlough to the normal workplace, either fully or partially

  • Moved from working to furlough, either fully or partially

In the next two weeks, approximately what percentage of your workforce will:

  • Moved from working to furlough, either fully or partially

  • Return from furlough to homeworking, either fully or partially

  • Return from furlough to the normal workplace, either fully or partially

  • Return to the workplace from homeworking

Is your business using, or intending to use, any of the following safety measures in the workplace?

  • Adjusted working practices

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations

  • Hygiene measures

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Social distancing

  • Temperature checks

  • Other

  • None of the above

  • Not sure

Is your business providing regular coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for its workforce?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Not sure

What percentage of your workforce are receiving regular coronavirus (COVID-19) testing?

  • Approximate percentage of your workforce receiving regular testing

  • Not sure

Is your business intending to permanently close any business sites in the next three months?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Not sure

Where in the UK are the sites that will permanently close in the next three months?

  • Northern Ireland

  • Scotland

  • Wales

  • East of England

  • East Midlands

  • Greater London

  • North East of England

  • North West of England

  • South East of England

  • South West of England

  • West Midlands

  • Yorkshire and The Humber

  • Not sure

How do you expect closing these sites to affect your workforce?

  • Decreased hours

  • Increased hours

  • Move to remote working

  • Permanent redundancies

  • Relocation

  • Other

  • Not sure

  • Workforce will not be affected

Does your business expect to make any of your workforce redundant over the next three months?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Not sure

Approximately what percentage of your workforce do you expect to be made redundant over the next three months?

  • Approximate percentage of redundancies in the next three months

  • Not sure

When do you expect these redundancies to happen?

  • Within the next 2 weeks

  • Between 2 weeks and 1 month

  • Between 1 and 3 months

  • Not sure

Why is your business making these redundancies?

  • Automation

  • Business is closing or insolvent

  • Certain job roles are no longer required

  • Change in management

  • Reducing staff costs

  • Relocation of the business

  • Site closures

  • Other

  • Not sure

  • Prefer not to say

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12. Net-zero Carbon Emissions

Which of the following actions, if any, have you taken to reduce your business's emissions?

  • Adjusting heating and cooling systems

  • Electrifying your vehicle fleet

  • Installing a smart meter

  • Installing charging points

  • Installing your own renewable electricity or heating

  • Insulating your buildings

  • Introducing a cycle to work scheme

  • Switching to LED bulbs

  • Other

  • Not sure

  • No actions have been taken to reduce emissions

Which of the following actions, if any, does your business intend to take in the next 12 months to reduce emissions?

  • Adjusting heating and cooling systems

  • Electrifying your vehicle fleet

  • Installing a smart meter

  • Installing charging points

  • Installing your own renewable electricity or heating

  • Insulating your buildings

  • Introducing a cycle to work scheme

  • Switching to LED bulbs

  • Other

  • Not sure

  • Not intending to reduce emissions in the next 12 months

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13. Comments

Please tell us anything else that may help us understand your business's current situation relating to topics covered in this survey

  • Comments
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