By Ian McConnell

AROUND 61% of Scottish businesses have voiced fears they will not survive the coronavirus crisis in spite of huge government support, a survey shows.

The survey of more than 400 companies across 17 broad sectors, published yesterday by think-tank Scotianomics, also showed 74% of businesses anticipate difficulties resuming activity after lockdown. Around 93% of respondents said they had been adversely affected by the pandemic, with 64% forced to stop trading.

Scotianomics notes one of the biggest impacts for businesses is that “payments are being delayed between companies at every level”.

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It adds: “This is either because firms cannot afford to settle invoices, or are choosing not to, in an attempt to maintain cash reserves to meet future challenges that they may face.”

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, director of Scotianomics, said the survey results made grim reading.

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The think-tank proposes that the Scottish National Investment Bank, under the direction of the Scottish Government, should “investigate the opportunity to offer a national invoice factoring service for businesses”.

Outlining its suggestion, it says: “Companies would hand over unpaid invoices to SNIB and be given a loan equal to a percentage of the outstanding amount.”