As part of their package of measures to help people during the Coronavirus outbreak, the government have announced a lot of measures such as grants, loans etc but details on how to get them and who qualifies are a bit sketchy at the moment. In the meantime, here are some things you might want to consider:
This will be the key to weathering the storm. As hard as it is, this will be temporary and so we all just need to do what we can to carry on so review your spending and see where savings can be made. Claim the grants available and take all the help you can get (see below).
When cash is restricted, the temptation is to make late payments. You need to avoid this where possible, if only for reputational reasons. Late payments already cause problems for businesses so chase those who owe you money and make sure you pay your suppliers on time or at least let them know what is happening. Tighten up your invoice process if it is a bit sporadic.
The government yesterday announced measures such as grants and loans which will be available to help. We don’t have details on who can access these and how but as soon as I know I will let you know.
Mortgage lenders will be offering a 3 month payment holiday so contact them to see what can be done if you need to.
The government have extended the ’Time to pay’ facility so if you are struggling to pay, or want to delay paying to help with cash flow, a tax bill, contact HMRC to talk through your options to spread the payments. Details are here: https://www.gov.uk/difficulties-paying-hmrc
Check your insurance policies
Do you have loss of earnings cover if you are unable to trade due to sickness? Can you claim on business continuity insurance if you are forced to close?
If you or your staff are off sick, you should be able to claim statutory sick pay (the main criteria being you are classed employee and earn on average £118 per week) and have it repaid by the government. It works our at £94.25 per week and you can reclaim it from the government. Again, there are limited details as to how to actually reclaim the cost as the current system doesn’t allow it so I will let you know when we know.
If you are self employed and self-isolating due to Coronavirus you should be able to claim Universal credit or Employment and Support Allowance.
Business Rates relief
If you pay business rates, you can get a 100% discount so make sure you claim it from the local authority where appropriate.
Stay in touch
Where possible, contact your customers and keep them updated with what is happening with your business. Make sure they know your plans and if you close temporarily let them know what’s happening. This can be as simple as a sign in your window, an update on your website or an email.
The Coronavirus crisis will change the way business and society works so when the urgent part of the crisis is over, consider what has changed for you and what you can learn from it to plan for any future crisis.
If you would like help with this or any other tax matters simply get in touch and we would be happy to have a chat.