IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE
We just wanted to update everyone on our approach in the current very difficult situation.
We are continuing work as usual, in fact we are actually working additional hours to support our clients. Around 60% of our workforce is currently working from home but are fully operational and ready to help in any way they can. We will not see any business interruption to service levels through any of this, we are fully prepared.
We are switching as many applicable client meetings as possible to be phone calls or video calls in an attempt to limit exposure, though for certain meetings we are still able to carry those out.
As you can imagine, we are getting many inquiries from clients about their own positions as well as the various government announcements in the last few days. These are ever moving and we will release more updates as we get more information. General positions at the moment
1. Government backed loans. These have been announced but the framework has not been put in place. After speaking to a few banks we understand that they will be ready to launch these products at some point by the end of next week. These will be normal loan applications effectively backed by the government. We will need to provide financials and other documents to progress on this front. Also general time frames with the banks seem to be around 10-12 weeks so realistically even if you qualify and have the right financial position funds are not going to be available until June at the earliest.
2. Business Rates relief. Our understanding of this indicates that councils will be addressing this rather than central government. We anticipate that we will hear more from councils in April as it is the start of the new Rates year.
3. Grants. These are tied to Business Rates. If you are assessed for Business Rates you may be eligible. Again it is the local councils that are dealing with this and we will hopefully know more in April. We don’t yet know the mechanism or criteria.
4. Time to pay on taxes. HMRC are currently understaffed and dealing with a large call load. We recommend you not call them at all. We can help you plan your approach on this front. In general HMRC are expanding their existing time to pay schemes to allow a longer time to pay as well as no interest rates. Traditionally this arrangement has been restricted to one particular tax (so VAT or Corporation Tax would need to be up to date to make an agreement on PAYE for example). That may change. We are planning the best approach for clients on an individual basis to preserve cash flow.
We are a small business like many of our clients so can really understand the effects this is all having. We all need to pull together and get through this.
We are systematically contacting clients to address their own positions and get the best plan.
Please make contact with any specific queries and we will address them.
Look for future updates via this blog, social media and emails.
Please bear with us as calls and emails are coming in at a crazy rate. We will get back to you as soon as we can.