The results of the UK Gasket & Sealing Association’s (UKGSA) latest survey highlights that import issues remain the biggest concern for our Members.
Impacts from the pandemic
When asked how they feel about the ending of COVID restrictions, 62% of our Members expressed ‘some concerns’ whilst 23% had ‘no concerns’.
Almost all of our Members continued to work during lockdown and all have put stringent measures in place to keep workplaces safe and restrict the spread of the virus. Whilst some organisations, particularly those in the hospitality sector, welcomed the lifting of restrictions, for many the enforced isolation rules have created a headache. However, from 16 August further changes took effect in England allowing fully vaccinated adults to avoid self-isolation in some circumstances.
We asked our Members if they had accessed coronavirus grant schemes during the pandemic. We’re pleased to report that just over half of Members were able to access grants, providing much needed support during the worst of the pandemic.
When asked what negative impacts the pandemic has had on their business, Stock and Supply issues has been by far the biggest negative impact for our Members, many of whom have some reliance on imported materials. With some customers closed during the lockdown and partially operating during restrictions, Sales have also been impacted greatly.
We’re delighted to report that many of our Members are now operating at full capacity. This shows that within our sector at least, levels of confidence are increasing with activities starting to get back to pre-pandemic normal.
Impacts from Brexit
Eighteen months on from the UK leaving the EU, import and export issues remain the biggest negative impact for our Members.
Issues with availability and pricing of shipping containers, long delays at borders and increased trade barriers, as well as Coronavirus, have compounded an issue that we knew was going to occur following Brexit, and there does not appear to be light at the end of the tunnel any time soon.
Given the issues of importing/exporting, it goes hand in hand that our Members are feeling pressure to raise prices, particularly as a result of raw material costs.
Despite the doom and gloom of import and export issues, 85% of our Members are optimistic about the remainder of the year which we find very encouraging for our sector.
Whilst our Members successfully negotiated the challenges of a global pandemic, issues around Importing remains one of the biggest concerns (77%), with 38% of Members quoting Brexit as a continuing challenge for them.
How the UKGSA supports Members
Despite a pandemic and the repercussions from Brexit, new Members have still joined the UKGSA seeing the trade association as a mechanism for marketing opportunities including networking at B2B events, providing increased exposure on social media channels and opportunities for Member to Member benefits.
To find out more about the UKGSA and how to join, visit our website: ukgsassociation.co.uk