Back to Top

 Skip navigation

Business Closures

Open in Excel:

Key Findings 

  • Among responding enterprises, 56% reported closing at some point during the pandemic in 2020.
  • Over four in ten responding enterprises (43%) reported closing multiple times during the pandemic in 2020. 
  • Multiple closures were most prevalent in the Services sector.
  • Nine in ten responding enterprises in the Accommodation and Food Service Activities sector had to close at some point during the pandemic in 2020.
  • More than three quarters of responding enterprises in Arts, Entertainment & Recreation, Other Service Activities and Construction sectors closed at some point in 2020.
  • Over a quarter (27%) of responding Professional and IT enterprises experienced closures during 2020.
  • Responding enterprises closed for an average of 18 weeks in 2020.
  • The most prevalent reason for closure was Government restrictions, followed by reduced demand.
X-axis labelClosed at some pointDid not close at any point
Industry (B-E)51.248.8
Construction (F) 77.922.1
Wholesale and Retail Trade (G)49.650.4
Transportation and Storage (H)73.426.6
Accommodation and Food Service Activities (I)90.29.8
Professional and IT (J, M)26.573.5
Finance and Administration (K, L, N)45.254.8
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (R)80.819.2
Other Service Activities (S)8020
All sectors5644

Among responding enterprises, 56% reported closing at some point during the pandemic in 2020

The hardest hit sector within Services was the Accommodation and Food Service Activities sector where 90% of firms had to close at some point.

Arts, Entertainment & Recreation and Other Service Activities sectors had 80% or more of responding enterprises closing at some point in 2020.

More than three quarters (78%) of Construction firms closed at some point.

Less than half (45%) of Finance and Administration enterprises closed (enterprises in the Finance sector, Real Estate sector and Administration sector) compared to 51% of Industrial enterprises. 

Over a quarter (27%) of Professional and IT enterprises (enterprises in the Professional, Scientific and Technical sector and the Information and Communication sector) also experienced closures. See Figure 2.1 and Table 2.1.

Show Table: 2.1 Closure status of businesses by sector in 2020

Closed onceMultiple closures
Industry (B-E)6535
Construction (F) 7228
Services (G to N, R, S)5248

Multiple closures were most prevalent in the Services sector in 2020

Almost half (48%) of Services sector respondents that experienced at least one closure had to close multiple times in 2020.

Over a third (35%) of responding enterprises in the Industrial sector that experienced at least one closure had to close multiple times.

In the Construction sector, 28% of respondents that experienced at least one closure had to close multiple times during 2020. See Figure 2.2 and Table 2.2.

Show Table: 2.2 Frequency of business closures due to COVID-19 by sector in 2020

X-axis labelAverage number of weeks closed
Industry (B-E)13
Construction (F)13
Services (G to N, R, S)20
All sectors18

Responding enterprises closed for an average of 18 weeks in 2020

Responding enterprises which experienced closures in the Industrial sector and the Construction sector both closed for an average of 13 weeks in 2020, while responding enterprises in the Services sector were closed for an average of 20 weeks. See Figure 2.3 and Table 2.3.

Show Table: Table 2.3 Average number of weeks of temporary business closures as a result of COVID-19 by sector in 2020

Positive COVID-19
cases in the
workplace
Government
restrictions
Reduced
demand
Cash
flow
Other
Industry (B-E)1.257023.7550
Construction (F)2.1172.5718.573.82.95
Services (G to N, R, S)2.4563.4526.623.743.74

Government restrictions was the most prevalent reason for closures across all sectors

Across all sectors, the most prevalent reason for closures was Government restrictions, followed by reduced demand.

For the Industry and Services sectors around a quarter of responding enterprises cited reduced demand as a reason for closure. See Figure 2.4 and Table 2.4.

Show Table: 2.4 Reasons for temporary business closures by sector in 2020

Go to next chapter >>> Adapting, Remote working and the Future