Preparing your SME for uncertain times
The entire business community is facing an unprecedented challenge. Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has escalated to become a global pandemic in recent weeks and this has created a volatile environment for everyone – from local traders to international airlines.
It’s likely that it has or will affect you in a number of ways, and we understand that as an SME owner, this might be especially difficult.
While a lot of things feel out of our control, it’s important to remember that there are steps we can all take to protect ourselves and our businesses. If you’re unsure how you can secure your business now and in the coming weeks and months, we’re here to help.
There’s lots of information out there, so firstly it’s crucial to point out that SMEs will be supported by the Government and lenders during the Covid-19 outbreak for as long as it’s needed. A lot of details are yet to be ironed out for all of the announcements that have been made in the past few days, but given the sheer scale of what society as a whole is facing, it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep businesses afloat during this time.
The Government has announced a series of measures and steps that it will be taking in conjunction with external bodies that will help businesses get through the next six months and beyond, from reducing business tax rates to providing loans and grants to thousands of organisations.
New measures were announced by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, as the Government said that it will do ‘whatever it takes’ to keep businesses operating. The Chancellor has made available an initial £330bn of guarantees, which covers measures including:
- Government-backed loans for businesses who need access to cash
- Supporting lending to SMEs, extending the new Business Interruption Loan Scheme that was announced in the latest budget. This will provide loans of up to £5m with no interest due for the first six months to businesses that don’t have enough security to meet lenders requirements
- Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will pay no business rates this year. Plus, these businesses will be provided with an additional cash grant of up to £25,000 per business. Additionally, grants of £10,000 will be given to 700,000 small businesses in the UK.
More measures are likely to be announced in the coming days as the economic situation evolves.
At the moment, it isn’t entirely clear how SMEs can access the grants and funding that has been put forward by the Chancellor, but more information should become available soon.
In the meantime, we’re here to help you better understand what these measures mean to your business and the steps you can take to make sure you feel as prepared as possible for the months ahead.