UCLan researchers create survey to help improve business support after pandemic

Posted on - 14th March, 2022 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Education, Preston News, UCLan
The UCLan campus in Preston Pic: Tony Worrall
UCLan’s campus in Preston Pic: Tony Worrall

Businesses across the UK are being invited to feed back their experiences of working through the pandemic in a survey designed to improve future business support.


The Phoenix Project, developed by a team of researchers from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) will collate responses in a report that will share best practice examples and inform policymakers how to make business support programmes more effective.

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The online survey compares turnover, focus on online business, working patterns, staffing changes and productivity levels before and during the pandemic.

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Professor Philip Whyman and Dr Alina Petrescu, from UCLan’s Lancashire Institute for Economic and Business Research (LIEBR), are leading the economics-based research project.


Professor Whyman said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been tough for businesses and we want to know how has it affected different businesses and sectors? How have businesses responded to the challenges? What barriers continue to frustrate resilience and recovery? What can policymakers do to support businesses and the business community?

“This is a business research project aimed at improving the current understanding of business resilience and economic growth, via expert, science-based managerial and economics knowledge.

“We’ve used our many years of experience and put the foundations for academic research to support local and national businesses in the long term.”

The Phoenix Project has been running since May 2020, with the first phase of quantitative and qualitative research based on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to understand the micro and macro impact of the pandemic and how to mitigate future recessionary shocks.

Read more: UCLan medicine student chosen to speak at Houses of Parliament about health issues affecting the country

This research has already provided robust evidence to feed into a number of policy and practice-based activities including Parliamentary Select Committees, the United Nation’s response to supporting SMEs through disasters such as Covid-19, State of the Nation work in the creative sectors, and informing future business support for SMEs.

The survey is open until Wednesday 30 March and the research team is offering £200 worth of M&S vouchers to be awarded by random selection.

Phoenix is designed and run in co-operation with Professor Sue Smith from the UCLan Centre for SME Development and Dr Adrian Wright from the UCLan Institute for Research into Organisations, Work and Employment (iROWE).

For more information about the project please visit the Phoenix Project web pages, Economic impact of COVID and pathway to business recovery – UCLan, or contact the research team on Printed copies of the survey are available on request via the same email address.

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