UK Business Closures Rise 14% as Pandemic Hits Small Firms

UK Business Closures Rise 14% as Pandemic Hits Small Firms

Bloomberg

Business closures in the UK jumped by 14% from a year ago in the fourth quarter as the coronavirus pandemic took a brutal toll.

Almost every industrial group saw the number of closures rise, with the transport and storage sector posting the largest increase, the Office for National Statistics said Thursday. Only finance and insurance bucked the trend.

Meanwhile, business creations were 4% lower than in the final three months of 2020. Construction saw the largest increase in creations, while retail registered the largest decline.

The figures reflect the pressure on small companies in particular during more than a year of on-off lockdowns and restrictions to contain the coronvirus. By December, almost one-in-seven companies reportedly had no cash reserves remaining.