How Coronavirus Is Affecting Small Businesses

Cashflow – A lack of sales is reducing the cashflow for a majority of small businesses, many of whom operate with narrow margins.

Wages – Many staff on contracts require payment even if they’re not able to work. This high outlay of staff costs with no sales is causing many businesses to suffer financially. This is, in turn, leading firms to make staff cuts and redundancies – which is impacting a vast number of workers. Already, there have been over 200,000 redundancies in the leisure and hospitality industry. This number will grow across multiple industries.

Suppliers – Supply chains are struggling under the pressure of the Coronavirus outbreak. For retailers, suppliers are struggling to keep up with demand. On the other hand, some businesses are struggling to pay their suppliers for stock or are cancelling orders.

Rent – Business rates and commercial property rental costs can be significant for small businesses. Especially when you consider the rental fees, service charges, utility bills as well as business rates and maintenance and repair costs. When companies are unable to use their business premises, the costs can lead businesses to have to shut up shop entirely.

What Support Is Available To Small Businesses In The UK?

Tax deferral – Small businesses will not have to pay their next self-assessment payments until January 2021. VAT will have a postponement for the next quarter through to June. This means you can delay paying your VAT bill until the end of the financial year.

Job retention – Government will cover 80% of wage costs (limits to be determined) for three months or longer as long as businesses retain their workforce.

Universal Credit – There will be a rise of £1,000 for standard allowance.

Government business loans – These will be available with 12 months interest-free.

Self-employed Universal Credit – Self-employed will be able to access Universal Credit at the same rate as Statutory Sick Pay.

Cash grant – In England, there will be a £25,000 cash grant available to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for those with a Rateable Value of less than £51,000. In Scotland, the same grant value but for firms with a Rateable Value of between £18,000 and £51,000. In Northern Ireland, the value is between £15,000 and £51,000 while in Wales the Rateable Value is between £12,001 and £51,000.

Small business cash grant – There is also a proposal of additional cash grants of £3,000 to £10,000. This will be available for up to 700,000 small businesses. In Scotland, this grant will be available for companies that are eligible for rural relief and the small business bonus. In Wales, firms with a Rateable Value of less than £12,000 will receive a £10,000 grant.

Business rates holiday – In the next 12 months, hospitality, leisure and retail firms can have a business rates holiday. This is the same in both England and Scotland.

Finding Support For Your Small Business

In these challenging times, it is crucial to find the right help for your needs. Find out what support is available to you by getting in touch with the UK Government. You can call from Monday to Friday on 0300 456 3565 or email enquiries@businesssupporthelpline.org.

As well as financial support, it is also essential to consider the mental health aspect of the Coronavirus outbreak. This can affect you as a business owner and your employees. The NHS, Mind, Heads Together, and The Samaritans all have plenty of resources available to help you with any mental health concerns.

Finally, if you need any support with call handling, and message taking, the Answerbee team are still working hard to support all of our clients. We have now extended our hours to cover 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday too. Even if you just need a short-term solution while your business is temporarily shut, we are happy to help. Get in touch today to find out how we can support your small business.

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