Economic Recession – Friend Or Foe?

11 May 2020, 51 mins ago

Please note that nothing in this article is or can be constituted as financial advice. Gherson Solicitors is not authorized to give such advice. Before investing in any projects and/or establishing businesses applicants are strongly advised to take independent financial advice. A list can be provided on request.

The Bank of England has issued a warning that the coronavirus pandemic could lead to the UK’s deepest recession on record, with the economy set to shrink 14% this year at unprecedented speed.

In March, a unanimous vote by policymakers resulted in an unexpected interest rate cut to a record low of 0.1%, and there looks to be little chance of any change to this for the rest of the year.

The Bank of England has based its analysis on the prospect of social distancing measures being lifted gradually between June and September. It is expected that the economy has declined by 2.9% in the first quarter of 2020 and is set to shrink by a further 25% in the second quarter. 

Despite the current economic climate, investors, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders continue to look to the UK as an economic stronghold and land of opportunity. Analysts have indicated that UK economic growth is expected to increase by a record 15% in 2021 and will have reached its pre-COVID-19 position by the middle of next year. 

Periods of economic boom clearly offer widespread opportunities. However, it is apparent that opportunities resulting from economic downturns are just as valuable.

Bill Gates evaluated 200 successful start-ups in his 2015 TED Talk and found that timing was the single most effective reason for success. 

History teaches us that foundling companies have thrived in difficult economic climates. Uber, founded during the economic crisis in 2009, recently had its IPO valued at USD 82.4 billion. Similarly, Airbnb was founded in August 2008 with a current value of USD 35 billion. Pintrest, also founded during the last recession, in December 2009, has been valued at USD 10.6 billion. 

These companies do not stand alone: Apple, Microsoft, Groupon, General Electric, Burger King, CNN, Whatsapp, Instagram and Disney were all founded during recessions or economic downturns.

The UK Government has pledged unprecedented business support for start-ups and SMEs in the wake of COVID-19. A series of schemes have been introduced, including Business Support Grant Funding, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Future Fund. The Government has also indicated a strong desire to attract talent within the Science and Technology fields. 

Despite the current economic downturn, it seems that we are in an investment climate that is far more favourable to entrepreneurs, innovators and small businesses than in any previous recession. Where many countries, including the US, have restricted immigration and closed borders, the UK continues to encourage business growth and innovation. The Innovator, Start-Up and Tier 1 Investor visa routes, as well as the newly introduced Global Talent route, look to be increasingly appealing to entrepreneurs and investors who seek opportunities in the UK. 

Gherson has extensive experience in all areas of UK immigration law, including Points-Based System applications, corporate immigration law and private life applications. Should you require any assistance or advice in regards to your immigration queries, please contact Gherson.

Please note that some visa application centres have been temporarily closed around the world due to an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Gherson are closely monitoring this and are able to advise accordingly. We are happy to assist with the preparation of your visa application to ensure that there is no undue delay in the submission process once visa application centres re-open.

Please note that the information in this blog is current at the date and time of posting. The situation regarding policy and guidance based on the COVID-19 pandemic is subject to change at short notice. We shall be monitoring all aspects of UK immigration which may be impacted by the coronavirus closely, so please do keep updated with further blogs and articles which we will be posting on this site.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

©Gherson 2020


Navka Raja 

  Navka Raja

  Immigration Consultant and Trainee Solicitor in our Private Client department