The supplier industry in Agder County is strongly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and also by the dramatic fall in oil prices.

A survey conducted by technology cluster GCE NODE among its participating companies earlier this week, documents the impact of what is in fact a double crisis. 36 of the cluster’s participants answered the survey.

This article is based on data from the survey, but also on information pulled from a web meeting with 10 of the GCE NODE companies and from 1-on-1 conversations with the largest cluster companies.

75 per cent of respondents say the Corona virus affects business ‘somewhat negatively’ or ‘very negatively’. When asked how the fall in oil prices affects the business, 54 per cent of respondents answer ‘somewhat negatively’ or ‘very negatively’.

2 out of 3 companies say they are likely to issue notice of layoffs during the month of March. Only 1 in 5 companies find this ‘unlikely’.

20 per cent say it is quite or very likely that the Corona virus and the fall in oil prices will lead to termination of employees in April, if the situation remains unchanged. 70 percent say terminations are unlikely.

Asked about supply chains, almost 60 per cent say they are exposed to disruptions in freight transport in and out of Norway, and 40 per cent say they are also exposed to similar disruptions internally in Norway.

80 per cent believe the first government package of measures is good for their business, while ten per cent believe the package is insufficient to meet their needs.

Top answers from “List measures that could help you business”:

  • Actual reductions in taxes and fees
  • Easier access to R&D funds and advance payment of R&D funds
  • Sick leave and layoffs must have the same rules / effect for the employer
  • Initiation of new projects

Top answers from “Challenges facing your business”:

  • Access to labor becomes difficult as one cannot obtain labor from abroad.
  • There are different restrictions in different municipalities. This affects, among other things, the flow of service personnel across municipal boundaries.
  • Cost of logistics. Escalating prices to the US for example.
  • Deliveries of supplies from abroad are out of control.