THE chief executive of Fife Chamber of Commerce believes the coronavirus crisis will be worse than the financial crash of 2008.

Alan Mitchell said that every company in the Kingdom would be impacted by the health pandemic and is urging businesses to come together.

The policy of social isolation imposed by governments to protect the most vulnerable is already causing trade to fall dramatically across all sectors and nobody knows what's next.

Mr Mitchell told the Press: "With the magnitude and scale of this, I think it will be worse than the crash.

"It's a massive challenge for every business in Fife.

"There is nobody that this is not going to affect.

"The real challenge is that we don't really know how severe it will be and how long it will last.

"Big or small – all businesses are going through this until we get back to something that is reasonable normal conditions."

Earlier this month, Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes announced a £320 million rescue package for businesses through the Covid-19 outbreak.

She also revealed that a £50m hardship fund would be made available to people who lose their jobs as a result of downturn caused by the virus.

The UK government announced £330 billion in loans, a business rates holiday and grants for retailers and pubs, as pressure mounted from different sectors that face a threat to their survival.

A dedicated Scottish Enterprise Business Helpline has been set up and Fife Chamber members have also offered their services.

These include The Really Useful HR Company, The HR Dept Dundee & West Fife, Business Doctors and Coates Consulting.

"I am hopeful that business will pull together to help each other," Mr Mitchell added.

"If Fife Chamber members share knowledge of how to adjust then that will help us be better prepared.

"We will look to the government for support but we will also help each other to get through this once-a-lifetime challenge.

"It's fantastic to see Fife businesses already looking out for each other and it's something that we will encourage.

"How to keep businesses running, that's the kind of thing that companies are best placed at sharing themselves."

He added: "There will be an impact on the economy and the financial crisis is the last thing we can compare this to.

"The fact that the virus has moved so quickly, it's changing and more and more severe by the day making it very, very difficult.

"What the crash did not do is have to make business think where their staff are going to work – we were able to stay in our bases.

"Trying to manage staff from alternative venues and the logistics is just another level."

Scottish Enterprise Business Helpline: 0300 3030660.