National Productivity Week 27th January 2025 | Visit Website

A diverse community of
leading experts, policymakers
and practitioners

The Institute’s key research themes
are led by ten academic partners
spread across the UK.

We’re a UK-wide research
organisation exploring what
productivity means for business

Businesses are crucial to solving
the UK’s productivity problems.


How will the COVID-19 crisis impact finance, investment, innovation and productivity in UK firms? How effective have government supports been in offsetting the effects of the crisis?

Lockdown, social distancing and market disruption put significant strain on many firms during the COVID-19 crisis. This project takes a short-term look at how the crisis has impacted productivity and its drivers in UK firms of different types. Over the same period the UK government has been actively supporting firms during the COVID period with labour subsidies, continuity loans and grants to sustain R&D and innovation. What effect is this likely to have on productivity in different groups of firms?

The research uses survey evidence from government and business representative groups to compile a comprehensive picture. It also undertakes secondary analysis of the quarterly SME Finance Monitor in 2020 to help understand the financial position of firms and how levels of ambition and investment are changing compared to the trends 2012-2019. ONS data from the Business Impacts of Coronavirus survey (BICS) provides a broader perspective on firms’ supply chain and customer linkages. A key theme is the impact on short and longer-term productivity, something which was also impacted by Brexit in early 2021.

Lead researcher Stephen Roper (University of Warwick)

Researchers Mark Hart (Aston University), Halima Jibril (University of Warwick)