Helping clients through the COVID-19 crisis
We always advise our clients to have a business continuity plan in place, but not even the most prepared of businesses could have anticipated the impact of something as widespread as the COVID-19 crisis.
Smaller businesses in particular may already be dealing with a downturn in business and wondering how they are going to make ends meet. It is not as easy as simply waiting out the storm, particularly when we don’t know how long the storm will last.
So, we have put this guide together so you know what help is available to you if you need it.
What we can do
We are here for our clients at this difficult time. Here is how we can help.
Keep in touch
Just as people are reaching out to friends and family for support at the moment, businesses need to reach out too. We will be keeping in touch regularly with our clients, and we encourage them to do the same.
Make sure we have your latest contact details. Keep us in the loop with any concerns and problems you face. The sooner we’re aware, the sooner we can respond.
If you reach a point where you cannot see a way forward, speak to us first. It can be easy to panic in the current climate but we will help you to make the right decision for yourself and your business.
Stay up-to-date with tax bills
We understand that accounts and tax bills may be the last thing you want to deal with right now, but things will be much easier if you keep on top of things and start planning the tax bills ahead.
If you missed your last tax bill or are struggling to pay your next one, check out HMRC’s Time to Pay Service. Any businesses in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities may be eligible to receive support.
You will need to keep a close eye on your cash flow. We will be working closely with our clients to ensure we can plan and try to mitigate any potential issues before they become real problems.
What you can do
Investigate supply chains
Investigate your supply chain in detail. Who supplies your suppliers? You may think your supplier is local, but where do they get the supplies from?
Don’t wait for your suppliers to get in touch with you - they’ve probably got a lot on their plate too. You need to be pro-active, and protective.
Check insurance policies
Check any insurance policies you may have, and find out if you or your staff would be covered in any sickness claim.
Review business costs
Look at all your business costs and reduce discretionary and non-essential expenses as much as possible. Fixed costs such as wages, rent, utilities, financing costs and tax liabilities need to be properly managed. You may be able to spread some costs rather than paying in one lump sum.
Keep working (if you can)
For some businesses, such as pubs and restaurants, it may be impossible to keep going during this crisis. But for many other businesses, there is a way through. Investigate how technology can help your employees to keep working if self-isolated. Consider what you currently do, can it be delivered in a different way? Many business may have to adapt to a new norm, are you positioned to take advantage of that?
Other help available
Keep up to date with the government’s latest guidance, including the COVID-19: guidance for employers and businesses factsheet.
The government has announced all sorts of financial measures in place to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis, including:
- Refund for businesses and employees required to access Statutory Sick Pay
- A 100% Business Rates retail discount for one year
- Funding support for those small businesses that pay little or no Business Rates because of Small Business Rate Relief
- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Banks such as RBS, Lloyds Bank and Barclays have pledged to offer support in the form of mortgage repayment holidays, temporary increases in credit card limits, waiver of fees on early access to fixed savings accounts and late credit card, mortgage and loan payments.
Find out what help is available from your bank, and whether you need it or not.
Just as local communities are rallying round to ensure our vulnerable citizens are looked after, we want to ensure that our vulnerable business are looked after too.
If you need help or advice from our team of experts, do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
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