Building financial fortitude: The impact across sectors

Carl Jackson discusses the widespread effects of trading restrictions imposed by the pandemic

The impending Brexit adds another layer of uncertainty. Businesses of all sizes that I talk to are extremely nervous because it is hard to plan for the future. Even those with strong balance sheets are reluctant to make lo, mang-term spending decisions. Much more planning is going on month to month.

Many sectors that were struggling anyway will be totally reshaped by the trading restrictions this pandemic has imposed. Restaurants and bars were suffering anyway from oversupply and the curfew has meant that reopening has not solved their problems. The Christmas party season will be very different this year.

In the future, I think high streets will feature more commercial and residential units as retail migrates online. The price of spending so much enforced time at home will be fewer choices for eating out and entertainment.

Landlords will have to go through a reality check. Gone are the days when they could command high rents because the demand will just not be there. It is encouraging to see more compromise already. In some well-publicised deals where the largest creditor is the landlord, they are typically taking the long-term view and supporting their tenant.

Aviation is a much more global sector than some of the others I look at closely, but no less troubled. Here, I think distress could persist for three or four years. Maybe it has become too congested with too many operators. Again, those that remain need consumer confidence to come back.

Watch my interview with James Ashton where we discuss the impact the global pandemic has had on sectors.

Author: Carl Jackson