COVID-19 And Help For Your Business
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense disruption to businesses all around the world, so what help is available for your business?
Many businesses have been ordered to close and many have chosen to close temporarily for fears their working practices cannot be adapted to protect their customers and staff whilst observing social distancing rules.
Other businesses, however, are still trading and managing to make the best of these difficult times. Given the constraints which the UK Government has imposed upon most aspects of day to day life, what should you be doing to ensure your business is best protected as you continue trading at this time?
Here are a list of things to consider
Review your contracts
You are probably continuing to use the same contracts or terms and conditions which you have always used. These however should be reviewed in the light of the trading difficulties your business might be facing due to the pandemic disruption. Existing clauses in your contract (called Force Majeure clause) will not help you now if you are delayed or prevented from performing your obligations under the contract due to the Government imposed restrictions. This is because we all know about the pandemic and the possibility of delays and disruption can easily be anticipated. Instead your contracts should give you the possibility of delaying or cancelling orders should the need arise in the future without any adverse consequences whilst we are all constrained by the Government’s measures at this time.
You should consider whether your customer is going to be in a position to pay you for your goods or services at this time. Incurring bad debts just to keep on trading isn’t helpful. You should consider whether it is appropriate to ask for payments on account or in full before delivery and keep a very close eye on your credit control systems.
Review your overheads
It is a sensible time to carry out a review of your businesses’ overheads. Are there any services or supplies which you can do without at this time? Can you terminate these contracts without incurring any penalties? Can you negotiate payment holidays or reduce your monthly commitments to ease the burden on your business at this time? These liabilities will have to be paid in the future but having a little breathing space at the moment might help to ease the worry of trying to continue to trade your business.
There is a raft of support packages which the UK Government has announced to support businesses at this difficult time. The support measures are wide ranging from loans, business rate holidays and employee salary payments for those staff furloughed during the pandemic. It is well worth investigating whether any, or a combination, of these measures might help to support your business to weather the storm created by these unprecedented times.