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resources 26 may

The challenges we can expect next

The Easy Part Has Now Passed. Whilst we won’t deny the fact that the past few weeks and months have been challenging; as we fast approach a further announcement regarding the potential easing of lock down, more troubled times await us in the business world.

I have said on a number of occasions already that the business curve is most definitely behind the health curve and will be very different to it also.

We don’t say this to make people feel uneasy as we want to remain calm, but we don’t want people to grow complacent over the coming weeks and months.  To maintain this calm, we must retain control to the best of our ability and that means not letting up as we strike back against the current challenges that we have faced and those that still await us.

Let’s first start with some fairly obvious issues that lie ahead:

  1. These Government-backed loans will need repaying and whether they are 80% backed or 100% backed, if they are not repaid, it will impact your credit rating as a minimum.
  2. Aside from the loans, the Government has provided significant financial support such as local authority grants, furlough payments, self-employed grants etc.  These will all need to repaid but indirectly; in some shape or form, and we expect this to be via any or all of the following:
    1. Increase in personal tax rates
    2. Increase in company tax rates
    3. Increase in national insurance
    4. Increase in VAT

Some of these may come subtly through the reduction of some allowances and some may just be in terms of a hike in rates such as a jump in company tax from 19% to 30% would not be beyond the realms of possibility.  Whilst it would unreasonable and probably unlikely that these hikes will come immediately; we would be shocked if they don’t come at all, and whilst some industries might benefit from some respite such as hospitality, they may also not benefit at all nor may anybody be given any degree of leniency.

  1. Whether you have accessed any of the financial support or not, we cannot realistically see any way in which you will not be part of the repaying of it!

There are then the operational challenges that may await such as:

  • Suppliers reducing or revoking credit terms
  • Delivery timescales for materials being longer
  • Staff not wanting to return to work
  • Customers delaying orders, cancelling them or wanting extended credit
  • All of the above and more!

You might even think a lot of the above might not apply to you but it will impact you in some way or another as prices just in day to day life with regards to shopping are likely to rise!

Our key message and support

The support you have benefited from to date must continue in some shape or form to help you through the times we have ahead.  We encourage you to engage with us over the coming days and weeks to discuss this support in greater detail as we grow our team and other resources to be able to deliver this on an ongoing basis for you.

We know concerns will remain and cost will be a barrier for some if not many, but we have worked hard to find solutions to this that we can discuss at the same time.

Remember these two messages

  1. With the government support to date and the announcements made and pending, they may have whetted our appetite with regards to more positive times ahead, but it will not go far enough to quench our thirst.
  2. Finally, never forget – calm is the word but not complacency.

Webinars (NOT TO BE MISSED)

With us coming back of the bank holiday we have focused on just the one webinar this week that is ran alongside our software partner that assists with cash flow management.

Cash flow planning beyond COVID-19
Friday 29 May, Midday (book here)

Would you like to have the answers to all of the questions I have raised in the section above?

Join us for this webinar to hear how we as a business have adapted, how other businesses have adapted and how you too could to not just survive but really strike-back!

loan 2 may

Government Loan And New Grant Announcement

So the bounce back loans are now live and can be accessed via most banks websites as we have been tracking them this morning.

I know we covered most of this last week but the key known facts that we are aware of so far:

  • They cover borrowing from £2,000 to £50,000 with some banks adding that the amount borrowed must not exceed 25% of turnover as well as a guideline.
  • The Government guarantees 100% of the loan and there will be no repayments within the first 12 months.
  • You cannot claim if you are already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).  If you have already received a loan of up to £50,000 through the CBILS you can transfer this to the Bounce Back Loan scheme but this must be arranged with your lender by not later than 4 November 2020.
  • After the first year, interest is fixed at 2.5%.
  • There are no early repayment fees.

We’re told that the application process should be relatively quick and simple but naturally nobody has been through this and we would initially recommend you contact your bank if this is of interest then liaise with us if you require any assistance.

New premises grant

This one almost slipped under the radar but we spotted it and there is a new discretionary fund that has been made available to local authorities that is aimed at small businesses with on-going fixed property-related costs.

Now there is no mention of working from home costs so as yet we are not aware of any additional allowance for this but there are HMRC allowances for businesses and employees working from home and more information regarding this can be found here.

In terms of this new grant, local authorities are being asked to prioritise businesses in share spaces, regular market traders etc and more guidance can be found here.

To qualify, businesses must be deemed to be small as in have less than 50 employees and be able to demonstrate a significant drop in income due to COVID-19.

There are three levels of grants:

  1. Grants of £10,000
  2. Grants of up to £25,000
  3. Grants of less than £10,000 which will be at the discretion of local authorities

Further guidance for local authorities is set to be forthcoming so contact them directly if you have any further queries.

What is planned for May?

Whilst we must get back on track ourselves as firm in May, our ‘Strike-Back’ strategy continues and we have an exciting line-up of speakers planned for clients that will further help you reinforce and re-engineer your business so that you come back with a bang as you are most likely sick of us by now!

We have our first four speakers lined up so will announce more information later this week.

27.04 loan

Strike Back. Government Loan

Major funding announcement by the Government
The Government have literally; within the last hour, announced a new corona virus crisis aid scheme that will offer businesses support for those who were perhaps struggling to access the current CBILS Scheme in place.

The scheme aims to support small businesses in accessing loans of up to £50,000 and will guarantee 100% of these.

The scheme is due to be in place as of next Monday with applications allegedly being via a ‘simple form’ through your bank.

Naturally hold off contacting your bank just yet as with previous announcements the Government does not always share these initiatives any quicker with them than they do with you.

This will provide another option out there for businesses that are in desperate need of financial support and who have exhausted other channels.

Hopefully it will also be accessible much more quickly than the current CBILS scheme due to the additional security being provided and following the lessons learnt by the Government when the guidance given to banks previously was lacking.

What is planned for May?

Whilst we must get back on track ourselves as firm in May, our ‘Strike-Back’ strategy continues and we have an exciting line-up of speakers planned for clients that will further help you reinforce and re-engineer your business so that you come back with a bang as you are most likely sick of us by now!