Keeping your business open
With the exception of some non-essential shops and public venues, we are not asking any other businesses to close – indeed it is important for business to carry on.
However, you should encourage your employees to work from home unless it is impossible for them to do so.
Sometimes this will not be possible, as not everyone can work from home. Certain jobs require people to travel to their place of work – for instance if they operate machinery, work in construction or manufacturing, or are delivering front line services.
See the full guidance on work.
Many UK SME businesses are misunderstanding what the government instruction is… relating to COVID 19
All companies can carry on working, and the direction is that people should not breach social distancing. So Retailers, Pubs, Restaurants and Businesses that necessitate people to meet, Theatres, Clubs etcetera, should not open.
Remember that deliving your food or product to the customer is not only OK, in many ways for businesses it’s A unique opertunity. First you learn who and where your customers reside and secondly the delivery person, drives afficency as the customer will be available to receive the order.
You can, however, trade if you can protect the public, your customers and perhaps most importantly, your employees.
Consider social distancing, don’t have teams travelling in the same vehicle. If you can work from home, do so, so clerical duties can continue. (more…)
On Thursday the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) complained of a “nightmarish” experience for business owners that have already tried to seek help from lenders.
The finance ministry said it will ban lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under 250,000 pounds — one of the FSB’s demands — and will make operational changes to accelerate approvals.
Banks have now been banned from requesting personal guarantees – which allow them to take a director’s property if they cannot pay funds back – on loans under £250,000. Most high street lenders have already promised to do this following a backlash but the government will now force all of them to act.
The government has also removed a requirement for businesses to demonstrate that they have no other means of accessing funding in an attempt to widen the scheme.
There have now been more than 130,000 enquiries from companies for the loans, according to new data from UK Finance.
But only 983 businesses have had their finance approved, with around £90 million of loans.
Companies trying to apply for the loans said banks had been demanding the guarantees and charging double-digit interest rates after the first interest-free 12 months.
The Treasury said all viable small businesses affected by coronavirus will now be eligible for the scheme and they will not have to offer any proof they have looked elsewhere first.
Mr Sunak also offered a lifeline for mid-cap businesses.
About 5,000 companies had been previously been too big for the loan scheme – which is capped at firms with turnover of £45m – and too small for Covid Corporate Financing Facility, which helps multinational companies.
A new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme which will provide a government guarantee of 80pc for loans of up to £25m to firms with an annual turnover of between £45m and £500m.