Whiteley: Business adviser warns of potential mass unemployment

A business adviser has expressed his concern about potential high unemployment over the coming months as the closing date for the furlough scheme draws near.

Colin Bielckus, from Whiteley, who runs his own business consultancy firm, Outsourced Finance Director, is predicting that from around the end of August, firms will start to get the ball rolling before the last day of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme at the end of October.

He said that firms could let go of a large number of their staff, leading to an increase in unemployment in the region.

The business expert said that companies may have no choice but to let go of staff due to a decrease in profits after the lockdown.

Bielckus said: “Alongside property, payroll is probably the biggest expense companies face and they are likely to look at ways to lower their costs and this could essentially result in a large number of people being unemployed.”

He is advising that firms take a look at their business models and make changes accordingly.

He said: “Can you open an online store? Can you get an app or something that uses less physical work but can help bring money into your business, while making your staff more efficient? Investing in technology could pay off in the long run.

“The deadline will approach us very soon. We’re already at the end of July, we have got to make decisions in two months’ time and these things have to be at the forefront of our minds.”