Call for businesses to have their say in COVID-19 impact survey

York businesses from across all sectors are being urged to feed into a new impact survey which has been created by Make It York to create a deeper understanding of how the city’s business community has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.  Make It York are working closely with City of York Council and York BID to see how the issues raised in the survey can be taken forward at a national level, continuing the work that is being done to lobby government for additional support.

The survey aims to provide real insight into the impact of the outbreak with businesses from all sectors being encouraged to take part and share their experiences. The survey is completely confidential and is a chance for business owners to feed back on their concerns and the areas where they feel they need further support.

Survey results will be used to gauge the key issues facing the different sectors and the scale of businesses and individuals affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Make It York also aim to use the information shared to tailor how business support is delivered to the York business community and adapt resource to the areas where it is most needed.  

More than 150 York businesses have already taken part in the survey from a variety of sectors including retail, creative and digital, tourism, IT and food and drink. Early indicators show that more than 40% of businesses believe it will take over six months for their market to recover once we return to normal life – and that the biggest concerns facing business owners in addition to the financial impact are worries around the decrease in consumer confidence, business continuity planning and fears of a global recession.

Sean Bullick, Managing Director at Make It York said, “We’ve been working hard over the last few weeks to provide vital support to local businesses across all sectors and offer guidance on the various funding options available. In addition to this though, we really want to gain a deeper understanding of how businesses across all sectors are being impacted in order for us to get a city-wide picture of the areas where we can best provide support.

“The survey is a crucial way for us to really understand the issues York businesses are facing and with these valuable insights we can adapt our resource in order to be as effective and efficient as possible in supporting the business community. This also includes working with City of York Council and York BID to lobby government on behalf of York’s business community in those areas where more support is urgently needed on a national level. Thank you to all the businesses who have already taken part to help us to start to gain this crucial insight across all sectors.”

Councillor Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning said: “I welcome this initiative from Make It York. We’re working together with our partners and the region’s LEPs to speak up for York’s businesses and secure more support.

 We have successfully lobbied for more support for York’s 12,000 self-employed businesses, and continue to seek further improvements to the business interruption loans. The council has created our own micro grants scheme to help those businesses which miss out on government support, and are supporting free advertising across the city’s media to connect those businesses still operating with customers across York.

“So we need businesses to tell us what their concerns so we can build the right short and long term help to see us through these extraordinary challenges.”

Andrew Lowson, Executive Director at York BID said: “We’d like to thank those who have already completed the survey and encourage those who have yet to do so. It is really important that we hear from as many businesses as possible so we can ensure that they are getting the information and support they need at this challenging time. It will also help us to plan as we look ahead to support a return to life after lockdown restrictions are lifted.”

Business owners can complete the Make It York survey here:

More information on the current support available for businesses is also available here:

Details of free advertising opportunities with local media are available at

For further information please contact:

Amy Goodman, Consumer Communications Manager


Ana Ignatova – Communications Executive


Notes to editors:

About Make It York

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our four corporate strategic priorities.  These are:

  • City positioning and profile-raising
  • Inward Investment and network building
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy

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