Options available for SMEs amidst the coronavirus outbreak

Read how the Government and the Bank of England has come to the aid of small businesses today and given some light to the end of a gloomy tunnel.

Firstly, we awoke to the announcement that the Bank of England had cut the main interest rate to 0.25 per cent from 0.75 per cent in a move to combat the economic crisis looming, due to the coronavirus which is putting a strain on all companies, but mostly small to medium sized businesses.

Secondly, the Chancellor announced his first budget of his tenure which included a £7bn support package for small businesses including tax cuts, loans and grants for small businesses. The budget also included a coronavirus business interruption loan scheme offering loans up to £2m to small businesses. The Chancellor has therefore unlocked up to £1bn of capital for SMEs.

Retailers will see their business rates abolished or if their rateable value is less than £51,000 will get the existing retail discount extended.

On a good note, nearly half of all business properties in England will not pay business rates.

2 million businesses will see the government pick up the bill of statutory sick pay for up to 14 days from day one. Whilst the self-employed will have quicker access to benefits from day one.

The HMRC is also accepting deferred corporation tax payments over pre-agreed periods of time.

This all sounds like good news, although SMEs need to remember that the tax holiday period will come to an end at some point and will therefore still need to be paid.

If the above measures aren’t enough, unlocking cash may put the minds at rest for the third of business owners who are worried about surviving to Easter. Securing business finance may be an option for some and should be explored in the current economic climate. Invoice finance may be a solution for SMEs to unlock cash from outstanding invoices to help with short term breathing space, but also for longer term working capital solutions and growth assistance.

Unfortunately, the extent and the length of the disruption to UK SMEs due to the coronavirus is as yet unknown, however, there are options available to keep businesses going in these difficult times.

Metis Funding is an independent broker who can tailor and source financial solutions best suited to your company. If you have any concerns or need some guidance as to the options available, please get in touch.

Published: March 11