The whole world has been shocked by the speed at which the COVID-19 pandemic has spread, with each day producing further restrictions on daily life that would have been unimaginable even a week ago.
In response the UK government has announced a “whatever it takes” package of support for businesses, which have been prevented from or unable to operate at all, or have faced an almost total evaporation of demand, and hence the continued cash flow which is necessary for any business to survive. The package of support includes a £330bn package of loans and government backed guarantees, with a new lending facility to provide low-cost, easily accessible loans for large businesses, as well as extending the new Business Interruption Loan Scheme for SMEs to £5m with no interest charges for the first six months.
Further measures include extending the business rates holiday announced in the Budget earlier this month for companies in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector to all businesses irrespective of rateable value, with those with rateable value of less than £51,000 eligible to receive a cash grant of £25,000 as well. Additional grants are also available to the smallest businesses.
It is vitally important that businesses take steps to familiarize themselves with how to access government financial support if they or their business has been affected by COVID-19. These are welcome measures which will provide a much-needed breathing space while businesses come to terms with the seismic shocks that the spread of COVID-19 has wreaked, as well as to start to plan for a future that will surely be much different to before coronavirus entered into mainstream vocabulary.
Post coronavirus may be a very different world and this may require changes to the financial and operational structure of your business. Companies may need to realign, restructure and reorganize to maintain competitiveness. So yes – the first priority is to keep yourself and your families, employees and friends safe in these testing times – but use the breathing space in the government support package wisely and think about what changes you need to make to your business and its structure to make it more resilient in the future. The “winners” will be those businesses which can see through the current crisis and will make changes to make themselves relevant and thrive when COVID-19 is a distant nightmare. And when you have decided what changes you should make to make the most of a brighter future, seek the advice of experienced professionals to help make those plans a reality.
Our restructuring team has more than 30 years’ experience in helping businesses identify and make the necessary changes to survive and thrive in an ever-changing environment.
For further information contact Neil Harrold at firstname.lastname@example.org