COVID-19: Advice and Guidance for SME Businesses

Advice and Guidance for SME Businesses

December 02, 2020

The pandemic has caused large-scale loss of lives and severe human suffering worldwide. It is the largest public health crisis in the living memory of mankind, which has also created a major economic catastrophe. Production was at halt which affected many countries globally, a fall down in consumption and confidence, and negative response of stock exchanges to heighten the uncertainties.

A different paradigm shift has been experienced by the world after Covid era. The world is gearing up to prepare its main stakeholders – micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) – for the challenges lying ahead. We did not expect, however, that a major crisis would hit so rapidly, that it would be so different from anything experienced in this century so far. It is important to understand that it is a health crisis where governments around the world are taking measures to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. Estimated global losses in GDP growth currently is around 5 percentage points. We are all well aware of how COVID-19 has destroyed world economy where UK is no exception. This has also drastically impacted Small Business Accountants and taxation as there are many new complexities to be faced.

A further important aspect is how recovery will take place for SMEs as compared to the larger firms. For many other countries where lockdown measures are still in force or only slowly being lifted, it is too early to answer the question. However, some evidence from Asian countries show that SMEs are recovering more slowly than larger firms.

As we plan a course in these troubled times, it is very important that people’s physical and mental well-being is considered at the core. And as we are not sure that difficult times may be ahead of many businesses, decisions should be made with concern for the people who may be affected the most. Especially for the new start-ups, we can help you to get through with our team of expert for accounting for start-ups. 

It’s imperative for all the businesses to take steps to shield their team member’s immediate health. Mull over their company’s current travel policies and adjust them to reflect the current situation. In this fast evolving situation we need to review these guidelines as the advice changes constantly. You should restrict face-to-face meetings and consider if those meetings can be held by using virtual platforms instead of making your staff vulnerable by exposing to the current scenario.

There may be a requirement to have a good back-up plan to protect your staff that may be affected either through illness, or the need to protect susceptible people in their households. This back-up plan could comprise of contingencies for more automation, arrangements for remote working, or other flexible resources to be ready for personnel constraints.

Set small goals with your staff and ask them to be prepared to work more quickly across different areas within their teams. With the use of proper technology and strong internal and external communication your company can aid the healthy collaboration and an ability to work seamlessly from remote locations.

There are several countries who have initiated SME specific policy measures:

  • - Many countries have pioneered measures related to shortening the working time, temporary lay-off or sick leave, and some targeted directly at SMEs. Governments provide wage and income support for employees who are temporarily laid off, or for companies to safeguard their employment.
  • - In order to ease liquidity constraints, many countries have introduced measures towards the postponement of tax, social security payments, debt payments and rent and utility payments as well. In some cases, tax relief or a moratorium on debt repayments have also been implemented. You can be worry free by using our accountancy services.


Managing your cash flow and having proper business plans

The careful management of cash flows and business plans are very important for start-ups during this episode. Understanding your supplier and customer exact positions will not only help you identify the risks bur also will empower you to seize the opportunities. A simple phone call can help you to get a clearer and forward picture of the client’s situation and accordingly you can adjust the market strategy which will help your business to continue reaching a market.

The current situation has come with its unique challenges, including the need for our practitioners of business accounting and our clients to shift to meeting virtually, supporting business continuity while ensuring the health and well-being of our people and clients.