One in ten business premises permanently closed after Covid-19 crisis

One in ten business premises in London has been permanently closed as a result of the coronavirus crisis, new research suggests.

Many firms will also shift to working from home completely rather than have a commercial office in the capital, according to a survey.

The London Chamber of Commerce said 9% of 500 business leaders polled revealed they have already permanently closed physical premises.

Around one in seven said their business will move to working from home completely once the lockdown has ended.

Almost two out of five said holding meetings virtually will become standard practice, and more than one in four planned to reduce business travel.

London Chamber of Commerce chief executive Richard Burge said: “Covid-19 accelerated the realisation of many companies that their business can truly operate remotely.

“These results reflect that many are now recognising there may be a longer-term opportunity in either totally, or partially, reducing their need for an office base.

“If it transpires, it would raise future questions about land availability and usage in parts of the capital.”

Among the 35% of business leaders who have furloughed workers, one in four said that, unless their business’s conditions improve by the end of the scheme, they will have to lay off all furloughed staff.

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