Coronavirus, or Covid-19, has affected all of our lives enormously. It has forced the government to take unprecedented action against individuals and businesses, restricting social contact to such an extent that people have been forced to work from home, or to stop working altogether. The roads are empty, the high-street is deserted, and everyday supplies on supermarket shelves are becoming fewer.
It is needless to say that this level of social disruption has had an overwhelming effect on businesses on both a national, and a global level. Here we take a look at how the government action has unfolded so far, as well as the options in place for companies seeking financial support through this turbulent time.
The government has been ramping up social-distancing measures over the past two weeks, when they announced that workers should work from home wherever possible, and social gatherings should be avoided. This was followed last Friday the 20th March, with an announcement that all pubs, clubs, cafes, restaurants, and venues must close their doors to the public.
While these measures brought panic from business-owners and customers alike, the chancellor promised several measures to help to reduce the effect on business. These include a 12-month business-rate holiday, and the ability for employees to claim 80% of wages lost due to the closure from the government.
Further disruption followed last Monday the 23rd March, when the government enforced a national lockdown. These measures urged people to stay at home, even limiting them to one unit of exercise per day. This saw the shutdown of workplaces up and down the country, meaning more home-workers, and more companies left unable to operate entirely.
What help is available?
If your business is facing financial difficulty worsened by the effects of Covid-19, there are a number of options available to you to improve your situation.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The coronavirus business interruption loan scheme was introduced by the government in order to provide financial support for small and medium-sized businesses affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. It offers low-interest loans, overdrafts, and invoice finance worth up to £5million, with an interest-free period of 12 months. Wilson Field has access to lenders who have the ability to work with companies towards obtaining funding from the CBILS. For more information on this option, please get in touch to speak with one of our experienced advisors.
Consider alternative finance options
If your business does not secure government help, there are alternative solutions. If you feel as though a cash injection would pave the way to getting things back on track, raising finance may be an option. With the help of a finance broker, such as ourselves, you can explore the various options available to you. Wilson Field offers a range of services to business owners seeking financial support. We offer a free consultation with one of our experienced advisors, who will guide you through the most relevant options to your individual situation.
Consider insolvency options
If the financial situation of your company means that you are struggling to keep up with repayments on outstanding debt, there are a number of insolvency options available to you. With the help of a licensed insolvency practitioner (IP), an affordable, monthly repayment plan may be arranged through means of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), to help you manage your outstanding debt effectively. Alternatively, if your limited company has no realistic future, voluntary liquidation may be a sensible solution. An arrangement similar to a CVA can also be arranged for sole traders struggling with debt, through means of an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA). To read more about these options, please visit our Coronavirus help centre.
Which businesses will be affected by Covid-19?
The effects of Covid-19 are unlikely to leave any business untouched, however, some are bound to face larger changes than others. Small and medium businesses are likely to take the most substantial hit of Covid-19, especially those in the hospitality industry, with losses from unsold stock, outstanding liabilities, and the complete halt of cash flow indicating that the months ahead are going to be anything but easy.
The full force of the global crisis faced as a result of Covid-19 is yet to be revealed. The situation is still developing, and further restrictions continue to be enforced daily. One thing is for sure, the year ahead is likely to be one filled with financial turbulence across all shapes and sizes of business, and for the economy as a whole. It is unlikely that any one of us will be able to say that the outbreak has not affected our personal or professional lives.
The social distancing measures, introduced by the government to tackle the Coronavirus outbreak, have affected all of our lives. The move has seen a large number of the national workforce operating from home, with a growing number left unable to work at all. This has, without question, had an enormous effect on businesses up and down the country.
To help with the fallout of the measures, the government has announced a 12-month business rates holiday, cover for up to 80% of the monthly wages of affected staff, and a low-interest loan scheme.
The coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS) offers financial aid of up to £5million to businesses hit by the effects of the virus. It is available from 40 certified lenders nationwide, and carries an interest-free period of 12 months.
As an alternative to the CBILS, with the help of a finance broker, options could be made available to provide a cash injection to your business. If your financial situation has taken a hit during the outbreak, raising finance may be the key to getting things back on track.
If your company is struggling with debt during this period, it is important to consider insolvency options such as company voluntary arrangement (CVA), or creditors voluntary liquidation (CVL). Similar insolvency procedures such as an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) are designed to help sole traders struggling with debt. To learn more about these options, please visit our Coronavirus help centre.
How we can help
Here at Wilson Field, we have access to funders in all of the relevant sectors who can work with you towards obtaining funding from the CBILS. They can assist your company in putting together an application to increase the possibility of receiving the most relevant CBILS funding for your situation.
Alternatively, if your business is not deemed eligible for the scheme, Wilson Field can provide advice on restructuring options that may be beneficial in moving your business forward.
To take the first step towards improving the financial position of your business, contact one of our experienced advisors today. They will talk you through the various options available in your individual circumstances, and guide you through the relevant steps to securing these.