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Covid-19 support navigator

At the time of writing the lockdown has been in force for 6 weeks, and in that time there have been a myriad of support packages (and revisions) announced by the government in an attempt to keep businesses in business. It has been a constant struggle to try to stay up to date.

But no longer: the government has added a “support finder” tool to the Covid-19 resources on the gov.uk website. Take a look at www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder

The finder works as a series of questions with ‘yes/no’ and tick-box answers. It doesn’t require any identifying details (name, tax UTR, PAYE reference, etc) so you can investigate the support without creating a history. The questions, and the information you will need to know to answer them are:

1. UK nation in which your business is based
2. Number of employees (more or less than 249)
3. Annual turnover (<£85,000, £85,000 to £45 million, £45 million to £500m) 4. Are you an employer with a PAYE scheme?
5. Are you self-employed?
6. Rateable value of your premises (<£51,000, >£51,000 or N/A)
7. Business sector (retail hospitality & leisure, nurseries, other)
8. Eligibility for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief (on 11 March 2020)
9. Are you due to make an Income Tax Self-Assessment Payment-on-Account on 31 July 2020 (unlike the previous questions, this relates to a personal liability not related to your business)

Your responses to the above questions generates a tailored list of support packages for which your business may be eligible.

For each suggested package, there is a brief description of the measure and eligibility, with a link to take you to the relevant page of GOV.UK for further detail.

Start your search here or take a look at our resources and notes about the various options here

Cashflow in a time of Coronavirus

As a follow up on my CBILS advice I want to share the cashflow checklist that I produced for my clients (and for myself!)

A cashflow forecast is the best way to see how much help you need at the moment (and you will be asked for one if you intend to apply for help under CBILS) – surviving 2020 is going to be all about your ability to pay essential bills rather than your profitability.

So I’ve attached the checklist here. Key things that I’d highlight are:

1. Extend your timeline well into your business’ recovery – it’s often restocking/ re-growth that leads to cashflow problems
2. CBILS loans are the last resort: make sure you’ve looked at every option available in order to minimise the borrowing that you’ll need
3. Think about how you’re going to repay any loan (including VAT/ tax deferrals). Repayments will use up vital cashflow when your business starts to recover
4. Stop and think about what the forecast is telling you. Is planning a return to the old normal the right thing for your business? If sales are down to a minimum at the moment then what sales do you want to regain? This is a good time to take stock and re-focus.

It’s always difficult knowing where to start with this, but the checklist has a structure that you can follow and the sooner you get started the sooner you’ll finish. If you get into difficulties give me a call, I’d be happy to help!