People running businesses in the Keswick area are being encouraged to give their views about the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit.

Rural business owners and managers are being invited to complete the Local Perspectives Business Survey online to feed into research being carried out by Newcastle and Gloucestershire Universities on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Dr Paul Cowie, from Newcastle University’s Centre for Rural Economy is part of the team conducting the research with the Countryside and Community Research Institute at the University of Gloucestershire.

He said: “We know that Covid-19 has hit rural businesses hard and we would urge anyone involved in this sector in the Keswick area to give us their views.

“We want to gain a better understanding of the day-to-day experiences of people running businesses in rural areas including their relationships with the wider community and other local businesses.

“This is an important study on two major issues – Covid-19 and Brexit – and information gathered will be used in order to guide government policy so that it better supports communities and businesses located in rural areas.”

The survey should take between 15 and 20 minutes to complete and participants do not have to complete it in one go.

Alternatively, if people would like to carry out the survey over the telephone, please email paul.cowie@newcastle.ac.uk to arrange.

The research will inform Defra’s rural development policy following the UK’s departure from the EU and the end of EU Rural Development Funding.