Covid19 Business Support #1

SUPPORT FOR YOUR BUSINESS (24.3.2020)
We are sending regular emails to our clients with guidance, including on support provided from the States of Guernsey.

Here we summarise the first of such emails.


These are indeed unprecedented and worrying times, for our health and livelihoods. We have spoken to so many businesses over the past few days, and our aim with this email is to summarise the guidance we can provide.

The main priority at this time is for everyone to stay safe and well. So please follow social distancing advice and socially isolate if you have any symptoms.

Let’s be sensible, calm and help one another by staying positive. This will be a long haul and we’ll all need unprecedented strength (physically and mentally) to get through this.

Negativity will only impede the success of surviving and coming out in a position to resume to thrive.

Gavin St Pier has stated that “the Bailiwick is facing an economic shock and we are doing all we can to support local businesses and employers, and now is the time to support each other. More support measures will be announced soon.” But for now the States of Guernsey have been advising all businesses to put in place contingency plans in relation to COVID-19 and have put in place a range of financial easements aimed at supporting all businesses in the coming months.

Please see here for the States guidance for businesses.

Some of the easements relate to deferrals on employers Social Insurance payments, commercial Tax of Real Property (‘TRP’), and reliefs on rents on States owned property. We urge you to read these documents as part of your planning and monitor this gov.gg page for updates https://gov.gg/covid19businessguidance .

CASHFLOW

Do you know your cash burn rate, i.e. how many months can the business survive if / when sales income ceases. Can part / whole business be put on pause with minimal outgoings if that is relevant for you.

If you do not know that, then right now one of the best things you can do for your business is bring your current financial position up to date, i.e. understand what is in the bank, who is due your money and who you are due money.

Then and only then can you make decisions for your business.

1. Get your bookkeeping up to date so you know where you are and you can then plan.
2. Work out what is your baseline break even cash flow, i.e. what income you need to generate/cash to collect on a weekly basis to keep afloat.
3. Review all expenditure and restrict all that you can, whilst still trying to support local suppliers and keep cash flowing.
4. Talk to your creditors and request deferment of payments where this will help and consider requesting rent discount or holiday from your landlord.
5. Debtors – review and chase your debtors. Talk to them, request payment and consider payment plans.
6. Insurance – check your policy to see if you are covered for pandemics. Cover may depend on whether you close through choice or if you are forced to by the government and / or by Law.
7. Speak to the team of States of Guernsey business officers on 743803 or email to business.support@gov.gg who are there to help.
8. You are permitted to defer paying the Employers social security contributions for Q1 and Q2. Take advantage of this facility if you need to. For self employed – all social security is “employers”.
9. Borrowing – we understand adding debt is not ideal when entering a period of downturn and uncertainty. But the States is looking to set up a loan fund and more details on this will follow.
10. Existing borrowing – speak to your bank and other lenders to discuss if you can arrange a repayment holiday.
11. Consider personal borrowings too, including your mortgage and ask your bank if a mortgage payment holiday is possible. If you can reduce your drawings / wages, that will help business cashflow.
12. Consider if you can diversify to increase sales, e.g. take outs or selling of vouchers to bring the cash in.

In short- take stock of current position, review non-essential / essential spending and seek to revise financing. Keep communicating with us and your supply / consumer chain.

HARDSHIP FUND
The hardship fund is aimed at individuals more than businesses. The fund is dealt with by the Social Security Team on 732516 or email hardshipfund@gov.gg. Please only contact the Hardship Fund if you need immediate help. The team are prioritising claims made to ensure that support can be given quickly to people who have already been impacted.

CARD PAYMENTS
Do you need to take card payments? Either for hygiene reasons or even for remote sales.

We recommend Sum-up, as the machine works in Guernsey, is quick to set up and they have no monthly charges just a 1.69% transaction fee.

They have just enabled Mobile Payments for all customers until April 30th so you can accept payment without your customer being there.

Create an account and order your terminal in under 5 minutes via this link, which should give you a discount. We also get a £10 referral, which we will pay onto a relevant charity, or it may be cheaper on Amazon currently.

FLUIDLY – EASY TO USE CASHFLOW TOOL

Prior to the current circumstances, we started working with Fluidly, an industry-leading cashflow tool, which you can use to build a 90 day cashflow forecast free of charge. We had planned to stage a client launch and education day around cashflow, however given current circumstances, we’ve made the decision to push this forward and give clients access as soon as possible.

What is Fluidly?
Fluidly’s mission is to help small businesses sleep better at night by automatically generating a 90-day cashflow forecast, which you can also edit so you can anticipate what’s coming ahead. It also helps you prioritise which invoices to chase and identify bad payers.

How does it work?
We’ve connected clients Xero software to Fluidly. Fluidly uses artificial intelligence to identify patterns in your historical accounting data and generate a 90-day cashflow forecast. From paying your next ETI bill to planning for changes in the business Fluidly makes it easy to look further ahead.

Our Xero clients have received an email from Fluidly, allowing them to view their cashflow forecast.

This one minute video or this 18 minute webinar which will tell you more about using Fluidly.

If you have not received an invite and want one – please drop us an email.

If you have any questions when using Fluidly, please email us or contact support@fluidly.com or via the Fluidly chatbot.

TALK TO US

Team de garis are all now working from home, but we are here to help.

Drop us an email to request a call back and we will try and provide guidance and assistance. This can be over the phone, or via a zoom meeting if you need to screen share for training etc.

We also continue to work through accounts, cloud conversions and of course cashflow assistance.

Stay safe.
#GuernseyTogether