Cash is the single most important asset in order for your business to survive. Practices are likely to experience lengthening project timelines, delays in payments, postponed work, cuts in new work.
Banks are offering working capital support and emergency loans, funded by the government supported British Business Bank. Apply directly to your bank, as early as possible to ensure that overdrafts/loans are available to cover cashflow emergencies.
17.03.20 extended so SMEs can apply through banks for a Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which loans up to £5 million per business with no interest payable for the first six months. This will be up and running by early next week. Be aware - these will be loans, it will provide the cash practices need to remain in business but will, ultimately, need to be repaid. Cash grants (not repayable) of up to £25,000 per business available, as are business rates holidays for smaller business rates payable.
20.03.20 several European governments are launching or trailing dramatic schemes to fund or directly pay staff salaries. These include:
Czechia – providing up to 80% of salaries
Denmark – providing up to 75% of salaries
Germany – expanding Kurzarbeitergeld (a national scheme which helps employees who have been laid off)
Greece - provide € 800 to self-employed people
Italy – provide € 500 to self-employed people
Sweden – to pay 90% of wages
20.03.20 The UK Government has made a similar offer today in a bid to stop companies putting staff on short time working, paying 80% of salaries up to £2500 per month to those staff who would otherwise have been laid off or made redundant. Similar measures are being considered by all EU governments. Ultimately, if this crisis continues long term, we could be looking at some form of a Universal Basic Income.
Use the government’s offer of ‘time to pay’ agreements with HMRC, call the HMRC Coronovirus Helpline 0800 015 9559. This covers payment of Corporation Tax. There is a similar scheme available for personal Self Assessment tax. 20.03.20 the next quarter's VAT payment will be deferred.
Control finance fastidiously, chase all debtors, chase on day 31 of a 30 day payment terms
In terms of timing, the Government's offer of paying 80% of salaries will be back-dated to 01 March and the mechanics for doing this should be in place at HMRC by the end of April. The loans and grants will be accessible through high street banks from next week.