1. Survey information

These questions are for Wave 49 of the fortnightly Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) dispatched on the 24th January. 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 fully trading

  • Currently partially 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 sites temporarily or permanently closed, if any?

  • 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

  • Do not have any sites

  • None of our sites are temporarily or permanently closed

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3. Turnover

How does your business's turnover over the last two weeks compare with 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 over 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

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4. Exporting

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

  • Exported in the last 12 months

  • Exported more than 12 months ago

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

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

  • Not sure

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

  • Exported goods only

  • Exported services only

  • Exported both goods and services

  • Not sure

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

  • Changed from EU to non-EU

  • Changed from non-EU to EU

  • Changed in a different way

  • No changes made

  • Not sure

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

  • EU only

  • Non-EU only

  • Both EU and non-EU

  • Not exported in the last two months

  • Not sure

How does your business's exporting over the last month compare with normal expectations for this time of year?

  • Exporting more than normal

  • Exporting as normal

  • Exporting, but less than normal

  • Unable to export in the last month

  • Not sure

How does the cost of exporting over the last month compare with normal expectations for this time of year?

  • Cost has increased

  • Cost has stayed the same

  • Cost has decreased

  • Not sure

How does the time spent on exporting over the last month compare with normal expectations for this time of year?

  • Time spent has increased

  • Time spent has stayed the same

  • Time spent has decreased

  • Not sure

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

  • 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 borders

  • Finding information on how to export

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

  • Reduced demand for products and services

  • Time taken for checks at the border

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

  • Other

  • Did not experience any challenges with exporting over the last month

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?

  • Major disruption

  • Moderate disruption

  • Minor 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

  • Information on exporting

  • Legal support

  • Transport and distribution

  • Understanding markets and demand issues

  • Other

  • None of the above

Does your business currently use rules of origin to access lower or zero tariffs on exports?

  • Yes, to EU countries

  • Yes, to non-EU countries

  • Yes, to both EU and non-EU countries

  • No

  • Not sure

How has using rules of origin when exporting to the EU changed the amount of administration for your business?

  • Administration has increased

  • Administration has stayed the same

  • Administration has decreased

  • Not sure

Why does your business not currently use rules of origin to access lower or zero tariffs?

  • Administrative costs of rules of origin outweigh the potential tariff saving

  • Exports do not meet rules of origin requirements

  • Lack of understanding, staffing or expertise to use rules of origin

  • My business has attempted to use rules of origin but has been unsuccessful

  • The EU does not charge tariffs on the goods the business exports

  • Other

  • Not sure

  • Not applicable

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5. Importing

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

  • Imported in the last 12 months

  • Imported more than 12 months ago

  • Never imported

  • Not sure

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

  • Imported goods only

  • Imported services only

  • Imported both goods and services

  • Not sure

Have you changed where you have imported your goods or services to in the last two months?

  • Changed from EU to non-EU

  • Changed from non-EU to EU

  • Changed in a different way

  • No changes made

  • Not sure

Where has your business imported goods or services to in the last two months?

  • EU only

  • Non-EU only

  • Both EU and non-EU

  • Not exported in the last two months

  • Not sure

How does your business's importing over the last month compare with normal expectations for this time of year?

  • Importing more than normal

  • Importing as normal

  • Importing, but less than normal

  • Unable to import in the last month

  • Not sure

How does the cost of importing over the last month compare with normal expectations for this time of year?

  • Cost has increased

  • Cost has stayed the same

  • Cost has decreased

  • Not sure

How does the time spent on importing over the last month compare with normal expectations for this time of year?

  • Time spent has increased

  • Time spent has stayed the same

  • Time spent has decreased

  • Not sure

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

  • 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

  • Finding information on how to import

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

  • Suppliers not continuing to trade

  • Suppliers not customs ready

  • Time taken for checks at the border

  • Other

  • Did not experience any challenges with importing over the last month

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?

  • Major disruption

  • Moderate disruption

  • Minor disruption

  • No disruption

  • Not sure

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

  • Customs and tariffs

  • Finding new alternative supply chains

  • Finding new overseas contacts or customers

  • Import licences

  • Information on importing

  • Legal support

  • Transport and distribution

  • Understanding markets and demand issues

  • Other

  • None of the above

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6. Production and suppliers

Has your business made any changes to how it conducts international trade in services due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic or the end of the EU transition period?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Not sure

  • Not applicable

Has your business experienced global supply chain disruption over the last month?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Not sure

  • Not applicable

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7. Access to financial support

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

  • Yes

  • No

  • Not sure

Has your business received payment from any of the following grants or schemes in the last two weeks?

  • Additional Restrictions Grant

  • COVID-19 Business Ventilation Fund

  • Kickstart Job Scheme for young people

  • Recovery Loan Scheme

  • Sector-specific grant

  • Small business grant

  • Super-deduction

  • Other

  • Not sure

  • Not received any of these grants in the last month

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

  • Less than 1 month

  • 1 to 3 months

  • 4 to 6 months

  • More than 6 months

  • Not sure

  • Business has no cash reserves

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

Over the last month, how did your business's debt repayments compare with turnover?

  • Repayments were more than 100% of turnover

  • Repayments were between 50% and 100% of turnover

  • Repayments were between 20% and 50% of turnover

  • Repayments were up to 20% of turnover

  • Not sure

  • Not applicable

How much confidence does your business have that it will meet its current debt obligations?

  • High confidence

  • Moderate confidence

  • Low confidence

  • No confidence

  • Not sure

  • Do not have any debt obligations

What is your business's risk of insolvency?

  • Severe risk

  • Moderate risk

  • Low risk

  • No risk

  • The business is insolvent

  • Not sure

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8. Operational performance

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

  • Using a hybrid model of working

  • Working from home

  • Working from a designated workspace

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

  • Made permanently redundant

  • Other

Is your business using, or intending to use, increased homeworking as a permanent business model going forward?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Not sure

  • Not applicable

Why is your business using, or intending to use, increased homeworking as a permanent business model going forward?

  • Ability to better match jobs to skills

  • Ability to recruit from a wider geographical pool in the UK

  • Ability to recruit from a wider geographical pool internationally

  • Improved staff wellbeing

  • Increased productivity

  • Reduced carbon emissions

  • Reduced overheads

  • Reduced sickness absence

  • Reduced wage bill

  • Other

  • Not sure

Why is your business not intending to use increased homeworking as a permanent business model going forward?

  • Concerns with integrating new starters into the workplace

  • Costs of employee equipment

  • Difficulties managing staff remotely

  • Negative impact on working culture

  • Not suitable for our business

  • Reduced communication

  • Reduced productivity

  • Reduced reliability and retention of staff

  • Security concerns

  • Other

  • Not sure

When do you expect your workforce to return to their normal place of work?

  • Within the next month

  • Between 1 and 3 months

  • Between 4 and 6 months

  • More than 6 months

  • Workforce already returned to their normal place of work

  • Not expecting workforce to return to their normal place of work

  • Not sure

  • Not applicable

What percentage of your workforce do you expect to return to their normal place of work in the time period you selected?

  • Above 75% of the workforce

  • Between 50-75% of the workforce

  • Between 25-49% of the workforce

  • Less than 25% of the workforce

  • Not sure

How do existing employees' hourly wages over the last month compare with normal expectations for this time of year?

  • Wages are higher

  • Wages have not been affected

  • Wages are lower

  • Not sure

  • Not applicable

How do new employees' hourly wages over the last month compare with normal expectations for this time of year?

  • Wages are higher

  • Wages have not been affected

  • Wages are lower

  • Not sure

  • Not applicable

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

  • Adjusted working practices

  • Carbon dioxide monitors

  • Customer coronavirus (COVID-19) checks

  • Hygiene measures

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Social distancing

  • Temperature checks

  • Other

  • Not sure

  • None of the above

Has your business experienced a change in the number of cancellations from customers over the last month?

  • Cancellations have increased

  • Cancellations have stayed the same

  • Cancellations have decreased

  • Not sure

  • Not applicable

Is your business currently experiencing a shortage of workers?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Not sure

  • Not applicable

How has the shortage of workers affected your business?

  • Employees working increased hours

  • Had to pause trading entirely

  • Had to pause trading of some of the business

  • Had to recruit temporary workers

  • Unable to meet demands

  • Other

  • Not sure

  • My business has not been affected

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9. Net-zero carbon emissions

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

  • Adjusting heating and cooling systems

  • Electrifying your vehicle fleet

  • Installing a smart meter

  • Installing charging points

  • Installing your own renewable electrifying 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 carbon emissions?

  • Adjusting heating and cooling systems

  • Electrifying your vehicle fleet

  • Installing a smart meter

  • Installing charging points

  • Installing your own renewable electrifying 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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10. Comments

Please tell us anything else about your business's current situation relating to topics covered in this survey.

  • Comments
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