Live: Triage surgery with Business Doctors

Consultant Alan Hodgkiss of Business Doctors shares his thoughts on what business owners, particularly of SMEs, can do in preparation for the short-term and long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic


Understanding the business’ financial position is critical and an urgent task. What is your cash position, who owes you money & what do you owe?

You can then prepare a 3 month cashflow to understand your challenges, especially if the business needs to close.

You can then prioritise the focus on who to chase for payment and identify your liabilities & work out if you can pay them.


Be pro active with your bank and lender, but most importantly don’t bury your head in the sand.

They should be supportive in respect of increasing limits or extending repayment periods or even offering payment “holidays”.

However, it is worth preparing now, as they will want to see your management accounts, the next year’s cashflow forecast and some understanding of your business opportunities that existed before the impact, that should prove to be resilient in the future.

Costs & help

The two main ongoing costs are usually your premises and staff, along with your stock and tax liabilities.

Scenario planning is essential, in order to understand what you can afford and then explore the opportunities that you have to negotiate with your landlord.

There will be a 12-month business rates “holiday” if you are in the retail, hospitality & leisure sectors.

The government have just updated their advice:

The Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be a repayment scheme that will be set up in the “next few months” (for businesses with less than 250 people).

The HRMC’S Time To Pay scheme for all businesses & self employed people with outstanding tax liabilities have announced a new contact number 0800 0159 559 today.

The grants of between £10,000 – £25,000 will be administered by your local authority, who should contact you directly. They are interest free for the first 6 months (the Government will pay that interest), so if you think that you qualify then you may need to chase up.

The CBILS (Covid-19 Business Interruption Loan Scheme) is being launched next week & will be administered by the British Business Bank.

The accredited lenders associated with this are most of the high street banks and other specialists totalling over 40 organisations.

The Bank of England Base rate has also just been cut to 0.1 per cent from 0.25 per cent.

It’s extremely difficult to see through the fog at the moment, but eventually it will clear. Taking action now will help to ensure your business is in the best possible place it can be, when this is finally over.

Business Doctors