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COVID-19 and Business: Where Are We Now?

COVID-19 and Business: Where Are We Now?

In this three-part series, Kieran Phelan, CEO of Cloud 360 Accounting explores the past, present and future effect of COVID-19 on local businesses.  In Part Two, “Where Are We Now?” Kieran reviews the immediate impact the latest regulations will have on businesses.  He offers some advice and actions that companies can take to empower themselves in these unsettling times.  

The past few weeks have been challenging.  We’ve had numerous government announcements, rising cases of COVID-19 (in particular in the Derry and Strabane area) and for many of us we’ve entered another version of Lockdown.  In this blog I ask the question, “Where are we now?” and offer what I hope are some useful tips to help react to these new circumstances.

One thing we’ve learnt is that our situation is continually changing.  We are in a permanent state of flux for businesses in the UK – and especially in Northern Ireland.  We are now encouraged to work from home if we can.  Aside from takeaway services hospitality businesses are now closed.  For the next four weeks ‘front end’ services such as hair and beauty are closed.  Lastly, we have an extended school closure break.  We’ve also seen announcements from Diane Dodds in regard to a ‘Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme’ and also new updates from The Chancellor.  Familiarise yourselves with these announcements to assess how they impact you.

My main takeaway for companies impacted is to act quickly and decisively.  In this short read I’m offering four quick-fire tips to help you take action today.

1. Get Support Quickly

Put quite simply, Government support is available and must be taken.  In my opinion, some of the support on the table is light.  However, get your hands on the support quickly.  Once you have secured the funding prioritise how you wish to use it.

2. Seek Advice from a Professional

Get financial advice now if you are in an affected sector and discuss what you should do with your existing funds and any support secured.  Above all, if you are really concerned about your business and your future finances speak to a professional who can offer advice and a second opinion.  Reacting quickly is imperative and if you have cause for concern don’t delay in seeking advice.

3. Continue to Implement Furlough

Make sure workers who are furloughed until the end of October continue to have claims made by the employer for up to 60% of their salary.  Those who are moving onto the job support scheme should possibly move onto the extended job support scheme if the business is going to close for an extended period of at least two weeks, so two thirds of those employee’s wage can be reclaimed by the employer from the government.

4. Mindfulness

Finally, be present, and control what you can and don’t worry how long the measures will be in place for.  Read the first blog in this series for more detail on mindfulness.

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