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Being in business is tough right now

During these times we have all become used to constant information from the Government regarding the support they have put in place, yet it is scary being in business right now.

I would like to thank so many of you who have fed back over the last three months saying how much you have appreciated the information we have sent you. It means a lot to the entire team.  My favourite quote from a client:

“I hope you don’t mind, but I have forwarded a couple of your emails to other businesses which I trade with who don’t seem to have the benefit of quite such professional accounting services and advice – I know from my own experience that bad news travels fast and that thanks are often scant to non-existent, so I thought a little pat on the back for excellent service was warranted”….Dale Barker

Over the coming months and weeks, the information flow will slow down.  However, we intend to keep you posted regularly with information that you may find useful.  We know keeping your business running right now is tough as you have had to adapt quickly, dig deep, and address many new issues just so you can keep up with expectations from your stakeholders plus keep the business afloat.

One of the challenges is ensuring your team (many of whom may be on furlough) are well and feel supported. ACAS (employment advice bureau) has a fantastic video that I want to share with you around mental health of your workers.  It is a short video and I recommend that you have a look.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rO_RcKz7cw#action=share

ACAS is generally a very good source of information for employment related issues and they answer queries on the phone.  Of course, they do not replace professional HR support, but it is a free tool you can utilise initially.

It has been almost a week since the non-essential businesses were allowed to open and of course those working in construction, manufacturing, distribution etc went back in May but the current government guidance still remains that you should work from home where possible. If, however you need to open the office over the coming weeks you should spend time beforehand to prepare the environment and fine tune your process.

Please have a look at the guidance to ensure you have considered all aspects including the requirement to carry out a risk assessment.  You need to make your workplace Covid Secure and here is the link to the government guidance that will help:

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/offices-and-contact-centres

You will see from the guidance you need to have completed a health and safety risk assessment as you would normally but for Covid 19.  You may find the example below useful:

https://www.hseni.gov.uk/publications/example-covid-19-risk-assessment-template

I need to mention one immediate change involving government support. If you took advantage of the VAT deferral payment, this support ended on 30th June. So, don’t forget to re-instate your direct debit and remember the liability needs to be paid by 31st March 2021.

 

You should still be filing your VAT Returns and unfiled returns need to be submitted as soon as you can.  If you are falling behind, then please get in touch to see how we can help.

Over the coming months keeping a close eye on your cash-flow is going to be very important especially as the flexible furlough scheme and the changes it involves comes in.  You may be deciding to bring back some workers on a part time basis or possibly looking at redundancies.  If you are finding that there is a gap in the cash-flow some short-term funding may be a solution.

It has been our recommendation that you explore the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and failing that look at the Corona Virus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, both of which are government backed and available until September.  They are a relatively cheap form of finance with repayment holidays in the first twelve months. However, there are also other options that may be more suitable such as invoice finance.

So please take a serious look at your cash-flow over the next 6-12 months at least.  It is sometimes hard to predict future income in these uncertain times, but we can work with you to do scenario planning.  We can then advise about the type of funding which would be suitable for you and help you access it.

It is a nervous time for businesses and individuals, but you are not alone.  We are here to see you through these tough times.