West Midlands firms back pace of lockdown easing

The majority of West Midlands businesses support the pace of easing of lockdown restrictions, according to the latest data from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking research.

Two-thirds are ready to operate at close to full capacity when some Covid-19 restrictions are lifted from Monday.

When asked whether their business would have preferred or benefitted from a different pace of easing, 56 per cent said they preferred neither a faster nor slower easing of restrictions.

However, a net balance of 39 per cent of firms said they would have preferred a faster route out of lockdown and just five per cent said they would have preferred a slower easing of restrictions.

The majority of those questioned – 67 per cent – said they will be able to operate at 80 per cent capacity or more when restrictions for their sector are lifted.

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 of firms saying they were planning to create new jobs in the 12 months ahead. The West Midlands registered the highest confidence reading of any region in the UK at 27 per cent.

Amanda Dorel, regional director for the West Midlands at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Businesses in the region have shown they are feeling more confident recently, but it is particularly encouraging to see that many are in a position to operate at full capacity once trading resumes.

“We remain by the side of West Midlands firms as they move down the path to recovery and take advantage of new opportunities along the way.”

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