Almost half of businesses are seeing their revenues decline due to the pandemic, research suggests.
Analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that 48 per cent of businesses trading between 21 September and 4 October experienced a decrease in turnover, while just 11 per cent saw a rise.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the arts, entertainment and recreation, and accommodation and food service industries, had the highest proportion of businesses experiencing a decrease in turnover.
The Covid-19 outbreak and the subsequent UK lockdown restrictions and business closures were cited as the most common reasons for a drop in turnover, the ONS said.
The research also found the coronavirus job retention scheme was the most popular source of government support in September, with 77 per cent of businesses using it and nine per cent of the workforce still furloughed.
Additionally, 43 per cent of businesses said they had fewer than six months of cash reserves.
The accommodation and food service activities industry had the highest percentage of businesses that had no cash reserves at seven per cent. This was followed by the arts, entertainment and recreation industry and the transportation and storage industry, both at six per cent.
The information and communication industry and the wholesale and retail trade industry had the highest percentages of businesses with cash reserves to last more than six months, at 46 per cent and 45 per cent respectively.