Report highlights depth of downturn

Only half of London-based companies believe they are ‘very likely’ to survive
the economic downturn.

The finding is revealed in the January 2009 London Business Leaders Panel
Survey released by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which polled
more than 250 company directors.

It also that one in eight companies either did not know or thought they were
fairly or very unlikely to emerge from the recession. In addition, more than a
third of those surveyed said they were “fairly likely” to ride out the economic

According to Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of the LCCI, the research
firms up mounting speculation on the extent to which London businesses will be
affected by the downturn.

‘There has been much talk in recent months about companies struggling to
access credit and our report reveals this trend has been getting worse, not
better. We are not expecting an economic disaster though with 87% of firms
saying they were likely to survive the recession,’ he said.

Stanbridge said cost-cutting across the board was needed in ensuring

‘Just under 20% of companies have already laid off staff while just over half
are completely freezing new recruitment. Companies are exploring other savings –
43%have said they are actively reducing staff training costs, while just over a
fifth said that they are introducing flexible working hours to reduce wage
bills,’ he said.

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