Coronavirus: More businesses ‘beginning to reopen’

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A survey suggests there are signs companies that shut down completely in April are starting to reopen.

The Bank of Scotland’s business barometer survey found a fifth of firms were not operating, down from 32%.

Meanwhile Scottish firms operating at less than 50% capacity had increased 18 points to 43%.

Three-quarters of businesses reported disruption to their supply chain, with 14% of those saying it would take more than a year for it to return to normal.

A slight improvement has been recorded in business confidence in Scotland – but it still remains near record low levels.

The report also suggested confidence rose 17 points during May to -33%.

65% of Scottish firms experienced a fall in demand for their products and services, down seven points on the month before.

Meanwhile, 12% had an increase in demand, up on 5% in April.

The monthly barometer questions 1,200 companies across the UK to gauge economic trends.

Fraser Sime, regional director in Bank of Scotland’s commercial division, said: “Scottish firms have been hit hard by this crisis, but they’re showing resilience in the face of great challenge.

“It’s encouraging to see that some businesses are beginning to reopen as demand creeps back.”

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