COVID 19 (CORONAVIRUS) UDATE
Following the recent developments surrounding COVID 19 (Coronavirus), our top priority remains the health and well-being of colleagues and working partners, whilst ensuring that we are available to continue to deliver a high-quality service to all our clients.
Over the last 9 years, we have invested heavily in secure, cloud-based technology. As a result, we do not expect day-to-day business to be impacted, but have implemented a range of measures to ensure an uninterrupted service:
- Working remotely (including from home), but always available by telephone or email
- Limiting in-person meetings, instead using video, conference calls or screen share via Join.me, Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Zoom or Microsoft Teams will be used
- When requested, please supply information promptly, for example, to process payroll, file VAT or statutory accounts, to avoid any delays
PREPARING YOUR BUSINESS
It is unclear how long this outbreak could last and the severity of its effects. Some of our clients have already reported the negative impact of COVID 19. We would therefore like to take this opportunity to advise clients to take sensible precautions in preparing their business, if not already done so:
- First and foremost, employers should ensure that they are taking any necessary steps to protect their employees. All employers have health and safety obligations to keep employees informed about health risks that may arise in carrying out their duties and to ensure that working practices do not create undue risks to employees
- Businesses should assess their working capital position and ensure enough funds are available to cover a drop in sales, and upcoming liabilities such as salaries and VAT. Now may also be a good time to negotiate temporary credit terms with suppliers and speak to landlords about reduced or deferred rent
- Ascertain the nature of insurance policies that you have in place which could, in principle, cover business interruption, supply chain and other losses (including third party claims or losses incurred as a result of disrupted or cancelled business travel)
- High levels of awareness around COVID 19 and resultant public concern has seen an increase in criminals using public health themed phishing emails to deliver malware and steal sensitive information. Staff should be advised of this and reminded of relevant processes for handing suspicious emails
WHAT THE GOVERNMENT IS DOING TO HELP BUSINESSES
As part of the Budget promise, the Chancellor set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. The areas which I believe would be relevant to some are:
- Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees
- Support for businesses who pay business rates
- Support for businesses who pay little or no business rates
- Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- Support for businesses paying tax
For more information on how to get help and support for your business, please go to the government business support helpline.
As developments unfold, we will make further announcements. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact me by email or phone.
In the meantime, please stay safe and take all precautions necessary and follow recommendations from the two websites below: