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COVID-19 Support Hub for Businesses

COVID-19 is at the forefront of everyone’s minds at the moment. We’ve put together one place you can find the latest information and strategies for what you can do as a business owner to get you through this.

You can jump ahead to the sections you’re most interested in, using the links below:

Above all, we want you to know you’re not alone. Whether you’re feeling anxious, upset, nervous or scared about the whole thing – we’re here. We may not be able to see you in person, but we’re always happy to share a virtual cup of tea or beer and chat.

Key areas in your business to focus on

  • Cash flow

    Your first focus should be easing cash flow pressures on your business. We've detailed some ways below

  • Funding

    Next, you should look at if you need funding and work out how much you need and when you'll need it

  • Resourcing

    The next phase will see resourcing challenges arise. Put a plan in place for how you deal with resource demands

How can I get through this?

Our advice to business owners remains to be calm, be positive and be decisive. This crisis will pass and the aim is that your business is in the best shape possible when it does pass. You’re not alone. Take care of yourself, your team, your clients and your community – seek the opportunities that will undoubtedly arise and monitor your cash position daily. Our co-founder Paul Bulpitt has helped put together this guide that has 90 tips and ideas for business owners to get through this.

The government has put together an overview of all the measures for businesses announced so far and how you can access them. If you’re self-employed they’ve put together this overview of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme and how you can make a claim. Below, we’ve put together what you can do under each key area of focus and links to resources that will support you to do this. 

How can I manage my cash flow?

Your first focus should be easing cash flow pressures on your business during this time. We’ve put together some resources to help including a guide on setting up payment plans with HMRC, a simple cash flow monitoring tool, a guide on how to get funding, and tips on managing your personal finances. There are the areas to look at first:

  1. Consider deferring your tax payments. We’ve produced a short guide to setting up a payment plan with HMRC.
  2. Defer payment of business rates. Look at holding off your business rates payment while you check with your local authority to see if you are eligible for any of the concessions.
  3. Approach your landlord about a rent holiday or deferment. The government has announced that no business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a rent payment between now and June. These businesses have successfully negotiated a three month rent holiday. Could you?Cash flow resources

Should I get funding?

The government has put systems in place to deliver access to loans and grants. In reality, it may take weeks until the cash hits your bank account. If you need a cash injection within the next six weeks, our advice is to seek alternative funding as soon as possible.

You can still take advantage of the government-backed loans and use these to pay off the other finance you have taken out. Some lenders are offering payment holidays, but you shouldn’t miss a payment without agreeing to it first, as this will affect your credit rating and could potentially result in default. 

Experience shows that the sooner you seek funding, the greater the chance of success. If you struggled to get finance before this, you are unlikely to get funding now. 

How can I get funding?

For Wow clients specifically:

This is what we’re doing to bring us all together to support each other through this and to extend a (virtual) arm around you. If you’re a Wow client and would like to find out more about any of the initiatives below, please email your Wow Accountant. They’re all part of your Wow service.

Wow Workshops

We want your business to be in the best possible shape. With this in mind, we’ve launched a series of workshops for Wow clients only. The Wow Workshops are small group workshops that are practical, collaborative, and hopefully inspiring!

Friend in Need

‘Friend in need’, Wow’s Mental Health Support Network is designed to support the wellbeing of you, your family and your team. The service includes a 24/7 helpline run by experienced therapists and advisors and a range of online services. The ‘Friend in Need’ programme is powered by industry leaders, Health Assured.

Free HR helpline for Wow clients

We realised that HR advice was needed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and furloughing staff. We’ve arranged for Wow clients to be able to call and get free advice on this and any other HR queries they have. We’ve emailed all Wow clients the details on how to access the helpline.

 


How we can help any business

There are many ways we can help you, here are a few options:

R&D tax rebates

If you have invested in a project that has developed your business, we can help you claim back money from HMRC

Find out more

Accessing government initiatives

If you need a hand accessing the measures announced by the government

Get in touch

Cash flow

If you need some more complex forecasting done or want to look at your options in more detail

Get in touch


Our key resources and tools at a glance:

  1. An overview of all the measures announced for businesses by the UK government so far, and how you can access them
  2. An overview of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme, and how you can make a claim against it
  3. Our simple cash flow monitoring tool
  4. The small business COVID-19 survival guide with 90 tips for entrepreneurs which our co-founder Paul Bulpitt helped put together (mentioned above)
  5. A guide on how to set up a payment plan with HMRC (mentioned above)
  6. Our advice on how you can get funding
  7. A checklist for what information you need to complete for a Coronavirus Business Interruptions Loan Scheme
    (CBILS) finance application
  8. Businesses who have successfully negotiated a three month rent holiday
  9. Tips on managing your personal finances through this time
  10. The Wow Way – our guide to how you can survive home working with kids

Some great tips and insights from elsewhere:

  • Lend A Hand. The amazing team at Manifest London are creating a community of helpers to support those struggling in self-isolation. If you want to help or need help, please check it out
  • This blog from Andreessen Horowitz sharing some of their best pieces on leadership, grit, and managing a startup in times of uncertainty, culled from their past (almost) decade of archives
  • This blog from Emily Oster on parenting and working in the open, amidst Covid-19
  • Some awesome tips on the desire to survive and evolve in the face of adversity. Written by the wonderful team at FizzPopBANG
  • If you’re an agency, read these tips from Blair Enns on surviving and thriving in a crisis
  • How do we prepare for a world that often changes drastically and rapidly? We can preserve our optionality. A great read from the Farnam Street blog
  • If you need some inspiration into how to deal with adversity, listen to Episode 17 on the Adam Asks Podcast which features professional actor, Jim Murray.

Please always remember

The resources contained in our Support Hub are intended to help you and your business and are no substitute for professional HR & legal advice. Each business is different and you should get professional advice relating to your specific circumstances. If you’d like to be put in touch with someone, please let us know.

Find out more

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