London firms back pace of Covid-19 lockdown easing


The majority of London businesses support the pace of easing of lockdown restrictions, according to the latest data from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking research, with more than two-thirds ready to operate at close to full capacity when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted from Monday, 12 April.

When asked whether their business would have preferred or benefitted from a different pace of easing, 59% said they preferred neither a faster nor slower easing of restrictions. However, a net balance of 36% of firms said they would have preferred a faster route out of lockdown and just 5% said they would have preferred a slower easing of restrictions. More than two-thirds of those questioned (68%) said they will be able to operate at 80% 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 (25%) of firms saying they were planning to create new jobs in the 12 months ahead. Business confidence in London also rose to its highest level for a year during March.

Mark Amis, regional director for London at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “The fact that the pace of the Government’s roadmap has received a thumbs up from so many London businesses is another indication of the increasing optimism felt by firms across the capital as we move closer to the end of lockdown.

“It’s particularly encouraging is that the majority of the city’s businesses plan to operate at close to full capacity as soon as trading resumes. Whatever the future brings, we will be by the side of London firms with the support they need to help them emerge from the pandemic in as strong a position as possible.”