Almost half of Scottish businesses support the pace of easing of lockdown restrictions, according to the latest data from Bank of Scotland Commercial Banking research, with three-fifths ready to operate at close to full capacity when COVID-19 restrictions for their sector lift.
When asked whether their business would have preferred or benefitted from a different pace of easing, 46% said they preferred neither a faster nor slower easing of restrictions. However, a net balance of 40% of firms said they would have preferred a faster route out of lockdown and just 14% said they would have preferred a slower easing of restrictions. The majority of those questioned (59%) 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 Bank of Scotland’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 Scotland also reached a 12-month high in March, although it remained in net negative territory, rising 15 points month-on-month to -2%.
Fraser Sime, regional director for Scotland at Bank of Scotland Commercial Banking, said: “As seen in our March Business Barometer data, the announcement of a roadmap out of lockdown has boosted Scottish firms’ confidence and more are now looking ahead with greater optimism.
“We know that the vast majority of businesses are keen to re-open their doors and resume normal trading as soon as possible and we will remain by the side of firms in Scotland over the coming months as they continue to do so.”