Corona Virus (COVID-19) Business Update

Kurt Graver Business Start-up Advice

As the world fights the Corona Virus (COVID-19) to limit its impact, this has left people fighting for their lives, unwell, scared, and many people been left without jobs. More and more businesses are closing each day. Entrepreneurs and business owners have been left having to rethink their business plans and financial future.

So first, I want to say that I hope you’re safe. I hope you’re healthy. I hope you and your loved ones have access to the food, medicine and other resources you need to make it through this crisis. 

Your priority is your own and your family’s health. Also, please take into consideration the vulnerable people in your area.

Follow the advice of the World Health Organisation, local and national governments to ensure you keep yourself and your family safe.

For the next few months, the key priorities for most people are

  • Staying healthy
  • Looking after their family and friends
  • Buying food
  • Paying bills

The people who have been laid off work may struggle to find new ways to earn money for the foreseeable future.

In my opinion, things will never be the same again. The coronavirus will change how business is conducted across the world. We need to take a new approach to how companies work globally. This means we need a fundamental change in what it means to be an employee, self-employed and a business owner. 

One thing is for sure, the insecurity and lack of support for these roles have to end.

As we all start working from home and self-isolation from others, let us use this time to:

  1. Think of how business and employment should be conducted in the future
  2. Educating yourself on how to keep yourself physically and mentally fit.
  3. Investing your personal growth, so you can become the people that we want to become. This involves our relationships, mental health and financial future.

Governments have been quick to announce support for entrepreneurs and businesses.

UK

The Chancellor announced unprecedented support for business and workers – to protect against the economic emergency caused by the coronavirus.

This includes unlimited loans and guarantees to support firms and help them manage cash flows through this period. An initial £330 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP have been announced.

To ensure businesses have access to the funds they need, the government are providing:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where the government will provide a grant of 80% of salaries up to £25000 for staff not working.
  • support for liquidity amongst large firms, with a significant new scheme being launched by the Bank of England to help them bridge Coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • increasing the amount businesses can borrow through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme from £1.2 million to £5 million, and ensuring companies can access the first six months of that finance interest-free, as Government will cover the first six months of interest payments
  • including new legal powers in the Covid Bill enabling us to offer whatever further financial support we think necessary to businesses

Providing £20 billion of business rates support and grant funding to help the most-affected firms manage their cash flow through this period by:

  • giving all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months
  • increasing grants to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief from £3,000 to £10,000
  • providing further £25,000 grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000

The government has not announced any additional support for the self-employed, but in the coming days, this should be addressed.

France

French President Emmanuel Macron announced 12 March 2020 certain measures to support the French economy and to provide tax relief for companies that are affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.

To his credit, Macron boldly announced that no business would be allowed to fail due to the coronavirus.

The tax relief measures allow all companies to defer “without justification, formalities or penalties” the payment of contributions and taxes due in March 2020.

Companies also could benefit from the postponement of social or tax instalments or even tax rebates in the most extreme or difficult situations.

US

The White House outlined a plan that would bail out airlines, hotels, casinos and small-to-medium-sized businesses. The package, to cost more than $850 billion, would provide $50 billion for the hard-hit airline industry and $250 billion for small business support.

The Small Business Association will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. 

What we are going to do at SGI Consultants to help fight the coronavirus.

We plan to change how we work at SGI Consultants to adapt to the current situation and to help others through this crisis.

  • All meetings will be remote, and we use Zoom and Google Meet
  • We’ll prioritise meetings and consultations for people needing self-employment advice
  • We plan to focus on our Online Start Your Business Training & Support Services – SGI Bootcamp and SGI Lab
  • We will prioritise healthcare and social care and any other businesses that are starting or expanding to help fight the coronavirus. Our second priority is Startup and Innovator Visa applications, so people are assured in their living situation. People and businesses who are a priority will receive a 20% discount on our services.
  • We plan to relaunch our blog, so it’s full of advice for people who need information on how to become self-employed, start their own business and access government funding.