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More than 723,000 businesses in financial trouble due to Covid lockdowns

Almost three quarters of a million businesses in the UK are struggling to stay afloat, concerning figures reveal.

The figures mark the largest quarterly jump in the number of businesses in financial trouble since 2014.

The Red Flag Alert produced by insolvency specialists Begbies Traynor measured a jump of 93,000 firms in the first quarter of 2021, with businesses reporting huge shortfalls due to Covid.

It meant there were 723,000 businesses suffering in total, the report said, a 42% increase over the past year.

Begbies Traynor said companies in the logistics and real estate sectors saw particularly sharp increases in hardship over the first three months of 2021.

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