Engaging With The COVID Economy

Please see out update below on COVID-19.

Important Note:From today 18th March 2020 we will be working remotely from home as our main office is temporarily closed.

All planned face toface meeting will be cancelled and we will will be conducting these either through Skype, MS Teams or Zoom meetings.

If you have any question then please let me know. If you cannot get hold of us on the phone then please either call me on 07779 565565 or 01628 260300

The COVID-19 virus is reaching epidemic proportions. The clinical situation, and the advice from government, seems to be changing daily. In response to this we are now contemplating the advice we can offer clients to manage the extreme measures being introduced to curb the outbreak – stay and work at home directives and avoiding large social

gatherings for example – and the effects this is having on SME’s delivering goods and services when customers are in retreat.

Every small business will have its own challenges but there are a number of key actions that we can all take to minimise the damage to our businesses in the coming weeks. This alert sets out in general terms what these key actions are and why they are important.


Are you solvent?

The first task is to quantify the amount of fat on your business Balance Sheet. For most businesses, this involves quantifying how much cash is collectible from customers, your bank balances and the amount you owe suppliers and the tax authorities.

If you have net cash reserves this is good news. This should provide you with more room to manoeuvre in the coming months, even if your turnover drops in the short-term.

If you have more current liabilities than available assets (those that can be readily turned into cash) you will need to consider your options, and quickly. You will be especially vulnerable to a reduction in sales and profitability.

Can you maintain profitability?

We have all set up our businesses based on a few basic assumptions, one of which does not include our customers being advised to work from home and self-isolate. We are being requested to avoid public gathering, visiting restaurants and pubs, all of which is going to seriously affect the future trading position of the leisure and events industries, and generally reduce consumer demand.

Clearly, we will need to “think outside the box” and consider new income streams for our businesses in order to make use and retain the hard-won resources we have to hand.

Other courses of action may include moth-balling our business assets until the Coronavirus storm passes. Most of the medical pundits seem to infer it will be towards the end of the summer before normal economic activity picks up.

In extreme cases, SMEs may have to consider winding up.

This latter course of action is very much a last resort. Initially, we should sit back and take a realistic look at our planning options.

Which leads us to our third topic for review:

Are you planning your cash-flow?

Any cash reserves you have will quickly disappear if you allow your business to continue in a loss-making mode.

There are three actions you can take to minimize this reduction in cash reserves:Think outside the box and create new income producing opportunities for your business. For example, have sales of redundant stock and/or sublet unutilised space. If you are a pub or restaurant, consider offering customers off-licencing or takeaway access to your services. Or reduce the number of tables to minimise cross-infection.
Once you have established the ongoing potential for sales, examine your costs and prune as necessary. Don’t forget that the major disruption will be for the next say six months. Activity should start to pick up after this time.
And finally, revise your cash flow forecasts to reflect points 1 and 2 above and update monthly so you can see where the dips in your cash reserves will occur. You should probably plan a year in advance.
We can help you manage this process and support you if you need to apply for outside funding.

Don’t leave matters to chance
We would like to invite you to an initial planning session – even if we have to conduct this online – so that we can examine the extent of the challenges your business faces and how we can help you face and steer a course through the next few difficult months. You are not alone in feeling the anxiety and tension that this COVID-19 virus is creating. It is unprecedented. Please call.

COVID-19 Temporary Number: 07779 565565

In the October 2018 Budget, new tax relief was introduced for the cost of construction or renovation of commercial buildings and structures.  As announced in the Conservative Party manifesto the original 2% straight-line allowance is to be increased to 3% from 1 April 2020 for companies, 6 April 2020 for unincorporated businesses.

The Conservative Party manifesto also included a promise to increase R&D expenditure relief for non-SMEs from 12% to 13% and this was confirmed in the March Budget. However, a measure originally announced in the 2018 Budget and consulted on in 2019 will limit the amount of repayable R&D tax credit for SMEs to three times the company’s total PAYE and NIC payments for the period. This measure will now take effect from 1 April 2021 not 2020.

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