The impact of the coronavirus on people, businesses and supply chains is unfolding on a daily basis. The final effect of COVID-19 remains to be seen, but there is already significant disruption to many businesses, with all sectors being affected. Some harder than others.
Every aspect of business from commercial contracts and employment to finance and data protection is affected. With the situation changing on an almost hourly basis, and a myriad of information to wade through, it is understandable that many organisations feel overwhelmed.
However, businesses can take heart in the fact that the Government has announced unprecedented support for organisations to help them weather the storm.
When faced with such a complex and rapidly developing situation, there is no one solution, and we urge businesses to take a holistic view, as well as arm themselves with a thorough understanding of the help available to them.
- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
- COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) relating to ‘furloughed workers’
- Retail and hospitality grant scheme
- Business rates holidays
- Deferment of VAT payment
It would also be wise for businesses to ensure they familiarise themselves with how the situation may impact areas such as:
- Commercial contracts, especially in terms of force majeure and frustration clauses
- Data protection, especially in terms of new guidance from the ICO
- Changes at Companies House
- Changes to planning laws
- Evictions of residential or commercial tenants
Undertaking an internal review of for example, commercial contracts and supply chains, to see if it is possible to stream-line anything, even on a temporary basis, could immediately save some costs and help cash flow over the next few weeks and months.
If as a business you find yourself in financial difficulty, or unable to meet any contractual obligations, then having open channels of communication with all relevant parties is key. There is help and support available and lenders are also putting in place measures to support organisations.
With so much advice being issued and often conflicting sources of information, it is more important than ever to have access to trusted, practical advice. Like many professional service advisors, we have put together a resource of information for businesses https://www.ts-p.co.uk/for-business/corporate/covid-19-understanding-what-coronavirus-means-for-your-business. We are keeping this updated on a regular basis.
This article first appeared in South East Business.