We are specialists in advising on how best to cope in a financial crisis. Clearly these are unusually interesting times - with the added concern that there is no clear exit/end date in sight. Most businesses and individuals will be feeling the negative impact of the current pandemic and you will not be alone, that is assured.
Given the pandemic, we are providing free initial advice to help businesses and individuals understand their financial position and discuss their options. Most of the time our formal services are not needed and we will still inform you of your options if this is the case; we pride ourselves on giving the right advice, first time, every time.
During this difficult period, we have received numerous calls from people worried about their financial position as a result of the Coronavirus and, whilst life is slowly getting back to normal, we may all be in the same storm but we are all in very different boats. The circumstances we face will all be different.
The BRI Business Recovery and Insolvency team have continued to help businesses and individuals throughout this difficult period and, for the time being, we will continue to avoid face-to-face meetings with prospects where a suitable alternative can be found. However we do have arrangements in place for physical meetings if essential but, in any event, we remain on hand, at the end of a telephone, skype, google hangouts, zoom or conference call, as necessary, to do what we can to help you.
As ever, BRI look for the best outcome for those we help irrespective of the fee outcome for ourselves. Talking with people and being as honest and straightforward as possible remains the way to go. Looking for a win:win outcome is generally the best way forward and will ensure you keep your relationships for the future when the world is back on a more even keel.
If you are in financial difficulty as a result of Covid-19 there are options available and we are here to help you know what these options are. Whilst there are both informal and formal procedures available, given the pandemic the Government and others have provided financial packages/schemes to help businesses get through this tough time.
The varieties of assistance currently being offered by Government and others are many and various and there are new sources of help available coming to the fore all the time. Consequently anything we commit to writing now will quickly be out of date but the basics remain and below is a guide which may be of some help to you.
- Try to keep calm and carry on – the goalposts continue to move. A new order is slowly revealing itself. If you had a good business before the lock down then chances are good that people are still likely to need the services or products you provide – we can help you “hang in there” in the meantime and there are various recovery options available if required.
- Put your people first – keep acting on the Public Health England recommended precautions, and any special precautions that may apply in your area, to help prevent the spread of disease. Know which of your people perform which critical task and consider what might happen if they are unable to work - consider how best to mitigate the consequences of their absence.
- Cash is reality – update your cash flow forecasts in light of Coronavirus. When will the cash run out on current forecasts, what can be done to mitigate this?
- Costs – spend only on what is necessary. Put “nice to have” on hold, only fund “need to have”.
- Be flexible – how can you work more flexibly, reduce capacity, change your offer etc? Breweries are producing sanitizers, exhibition stand builders are building temporary mortuaries – what can you do to contribute to income while helping the nation.
- Contemporaneous notes – in fast moving times change is the only constant. A good decision today may look unwise tomorrow – people looking back will have the 20:20 vision of hindsight. Keep notes as to why and what you are doing is business critical, why it is in the best interests of creditors.
- Identify key suppliers – what happens if they fail? Identify alternatives.
- Identify key customers – what happens if they fail? How can you best support customers without putting yourself in danger. Look for win:win.
- Get advice – trading in the twilight zone is notoriously tricky – currently never more so. Personal liability can occur as a result of Directors allowing their company to:-
- Trade while insolvent (wrongful trading in particular) (slightly changed by new law);
- Enter into transactions at an undervalue;
- Prefer one creditor or creditors to others.
- BRI are here to help. Talk to us. Just talking things through can help make a difference. We remain happy to have conversations with people about their specific circumstances without initial cost or commitment. All it will take is some time.
If you still find yourself asking questions please feel free to contact us using the details below; we are here to help.
- Northampton: 01604 754352
- Banbury: 01295 272121
- Coventry: 02476 226839
- Hitchin: 01462 429718
- Milton Keynes: 01908 317387
- Spalding: 01775 741020
Coronavirus Information Resource List:
Government Guide to employers and businesses
The government site https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses is a good source, much referenced by others on what is currently available.
Government Guide for employees
Another helpful Government link is https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees
The Citizens Advice Bureau have issued advice to individuals unable to pay their bills
ACAS advice for employers and employees
Government business support