Coronavirus & end of support planning

With the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) due to close at the end of September and other government support schemes winding down, it's vital to review any additional finance you may need over the coming months.

The Furlough scheme and other government support have helped many companies stay afloat during the Coronavirus crisis. However, with these schemes winding down and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) closing on 30 September 2020, businesses should be reviewing any additional finance they may need now.

How to plan ahead

Management teams should have a financial model/cash flow forecast in place based on how they think their business will perform over the coming year. Currently, we don’t know when a second Coronavirus wave might happen and the impact it will have, but it’s still possible to prepare a base model that can be flexed easily if an event like this occurs.

Get free funding

Coaching grants up to £5k are available through Business West to help businesses fund the cost of any coaching/professional advice that will support them through the current pandemic, including financial forecasting/management and recovery planning.*

KEY POINTS TO CONSIDER

In order to plan effectively, businesses will need to consider the following points:

1. Financial forecasting - if you’ve re-open already, or are about to, how quickly is your turnover likely to recover? This will depend on a multiple of factors, such as the impact of consumer confidence and ongoing social distancing, and where you are in the supply chain.

2. Staff – unfortunately, for many businesses the recovery is likely to be slow and you may not need as many staff as you had prior to Covid-19. Owners will need to strike a careful balance between achieving operational efficiency and maintaining standards/service levels. As part of this review, you’ll need to factor in redundancy/notice costs. Also, consider making these staffing decisions during the furlough period, where possible, to lessen the financial impact on the business.

3. Finance – using your forecast, you should be able to calculate the cash needs of the business for the remainder of 2020 and consider what finance is required. In our view, this is where the new government backed loans may prove very valuable. The CBILS scheme is due to end on 30 September so you will need to act soon if you haven’t done so already. The Bounce Back Loan is another good option to consider to secure up to £50,000 of government backed, low interest funding - this will end on 4th November.

We are aware of businesses having loan applications rejected because they were “too profitable”, which have gone on to be successful with alternative lenders, so please call us to be put in touch with our banking contacts.

4. Innovation - is it possible to adapt the way your business operates to better serve your customers/clients throughout the lockdown and beyond? This could include updating your website, moving to online sales, changing delivery options or improving IT for staff working remotely. If some form of social distancing becomes the ‘new normal’ (as seems increasingly likely), businesses should consider financing and implementing such changes as soon as possible.

HOW WE CAN HELP

Financial forecasting has never been as important as now. The businesses that survive the lockdown will have a clear understanding of their needs and be able to model any changes that result from social distancing policies quickly.

These forecasts will help you assess any future financial pinch points you might have in the future and will also be requested by banks in relation to any future finance applications. We have expertise in this area and can help you prepare these figures, along with any other financial information that you need.

If you would like advice on any of the issues raised, or for help with services like bookkeeping or cash flow management during the Coronavirus pandemic, please call us on 01225 325580 or email info@richardsonswift.co.uk.

*High Impact Scale up Coaching Grants are available to qualifying South West businesses until April 2021. For further information, please see: https://www.businesswest.co.uk/grow/high-impact-scale-up-coaching-grants.