A SURVEY of Glasgow businesses has shown that almost half of the city’s companies are not confident in returning to work under the current social distancing rules.

Conducted by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, the survey of 200 businesses – the largest since lockdown – revealed that 21% of respondents feel they could not operate under the rules, while an addition 24% said they didn’t know if they could due to the need for staff to work close together, or a lack of space to ensure the practice is followed.

Of the 200 respondents, 26% were firms in sectors such as tourism, retail and leisure, with 19% in financial and professional services.

15% were in construction and manufacturing, 8% in education and health, 8% in the creative and media industries and 4% in transport.

Glasgow Chamber chief executive Stuart Patrick, below, said: “The views of our members show there is a need for greater government policy guidance on how to operate with social distancing. Largely this is about what is going to be needed for businesses to start reopening in a safe way under social distancing rules.

“The results of this survey show there is not going to be a swift return to normal working for many Glasgow businesses. This implies there must be longer-term support for them, which supports the view that tapering of the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) is important.

“This support is needed, or people will be made redundant. There must be no cliff-edge on JRS, as the Chancellor has said. But it must not be switched off in July, rather we could be talking about well into the summer in Glasgow and in Scotland.”

Patrick continued: “It’s vital that we help businesses to open up using social distancing ... but we also must acknowledge that over a fifth don’t think they can operate at all under social distancing and a quarter just don’t know if they could.”