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29 May 2020

COVID-19 Business Impact Survey Closes

COVID-19 Business Impact Survey Closes

Our COVID-19 Business Impact Survey is now closed.

We have monitored feedback from businesses of all sizes, the self-employed, and charities in Dorset pertaining to the impact COVID-19 is having on their business operations via our COVID-19 Business Impact Survey. Thanks to the 323 Dorset businesses that have participated, we have identified the following key highlights:

  • Just over a half of the responding businesses (53%) were from the Tourism, Hospitality & Retail sector, 13% from Finance & Professional Services, 9% from Health & Social Care, 8% from Manufacturing and 7% from Digital & Creative.
  • The vast majority of respondents (88%) said that the outbreak has had a major Impact causing significant disruption to their business operations.
  • 55% say they have furloughed staff, and 9% have laid off workers permanently
  • 77% of businesses felt that with the current measures in place they could remain trading for under 6 months.

The findings of the survey are being used to discuss further steps that can be taken by a range of organisations including government to help business in the recovery phase of the current crisis.

Throughout the time that the survey has been live, we have been actively monitoring comments and concerns from businesses and relaying them to the government. We have also been speaking with local partners about the feedback businesses have provided to help inform and tailor the Dorset support that is being offered. Examples of this include:

Feedback from businesses

Action taken

100% backing of loans, for small businesses

The government has now introduced 100% backed loans (bounce back loans) aimed at small businesses

Support for fishing and aquaculture businesses

Two funds totalling £10m were launched in April to support these businesses

Support for pre-profit, start-ups and early stage, high-growth businesses

The government introduced a Future Fund aimed at supporting research and development led intensive businesses

Support for businesses located in shared office space, charities and other smaller businesses who are not eligible for other grants

A new discretionary fund was announced in May. Local authorities have been asked to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates

Find our latest COVID-19 Support.


Notes to Editors:

Dorset LEP

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership is a business led private and public sector partnership, promoting local economic growth and prosperity. Dorset LEP deliver projects that support and develop infrastructure, housing, skills, enterprise and business growth to achieve long-term economic benefit for all in Dorset. For more information about all Dorset LEP projects, visit

Dorset Gateway

Delivered by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Dorset Gateway is part of the national Growth Hub network, providing an informed and bespoke service, free to any Dorset-based businesses looking for help to source appropriate available solutions for growth and development.

In partnership with Dorset Chamber, Dorset Gateway offers free and impartial business advice, signposting to other support and funding opportunities to help businesses grow. As the central information and support hub for all businesses in the county, Dorset Gateway also provides access to a range of business engagement and innovation networks, and a fully funded bid-writing support service for businesses across Dorset.

Social media links:

Dorset LEP Twitter: @dorsetlep


Dorset Gateway Twitter: @dorset_gateway


Dorset LEP LinkedIn: @Dorset LEP


Dorset Gateway LinkedIn: @Dorset Gateway


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