A MANAGING partner of Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP (AAB), one of the UK’s leading independent firms of chartered accountants and business advisors, has urged more businesses to apply for the government COVID-19 loan schemes with the aim of positioning themselves strongly for the ‘new normal’.
Lyn Calder, who is also the firm’s head of deals for the Central Belt, said that business owners must plan for their longer-term future, and consider how they will plug the funding gap when we emerge from lockdown and demand for their products and services begins to ramp up again.
Ms Calder also commented on the recently published survey carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), which revealed that uptake of the Treasury’s unprecedented financial support packages via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the micro-loans scheme, has been relatively low, with 57% of those surveyed not intending to apply for any financial support.
Ms Calder said: “There are a variety of reasons for businesses not taking up these support measures, from worry about taking on debt during this period of economic challenge, to a perception that these loans only apply to those urgently needing cash to see them through the crisis. Others are thinking that if they can get through the lockdown they’ll be ok, but the restart needs to be funded too.
“My colleagues and I at AAB are concerned that many businesses have not considered how they will pay staff salaries and cover raw material costs once trade starts to pick up again. Given that the furlough scheme will not last indefinitely, and that businesses won’t have the luxury of funding product build from their debtor book, I would advise business owners to consider applying for one of the Covid-19 debt schemes as part of their contingency planning for when they re-start their operations. It would be a prudent step to future-proof any business at the moment.”