Pretend and extend – Business financing

These last few weeks we have welcomed significant easing of COVID restrictions with the majority of the indoor and remaining outdoor economy reopening, and the people gathering limits increased indoors and outdoors.

The prime minister’s recent announcement about the spread to the UK of the COVID variant from India has cast some doubt on the planned ending of social distancing on 21 June. But the success of the vaccine roll-out has given us all optimism that a return to normality is not too far away.

This positive outlook is reflected in the business community with numerous recent surveys showing that confidence in the economy is returning, with increased hope of recovery in 2021.

It has been incredible to see how resilient local businesses have been during the pandemic and the different ways businesses have adapted to the rapidly changing circumstances.

One of the positives coming out of the pandemic has been how community spirit has been revived. People appreciate the importance of supporting local businesses to keep their local communities a thriving place to live, work and visit. It is great to hear people say they are planning to continue to do this post COVID.

Whilst optimism is increasing, generally there are some business owners who are less certain about the future. The furlough scheme and other government support measures have saved many businesses and helped to preserve jobs. But many small, limited companies were left out of most Government financial packages.

It is good news that following COVID, businesses are now much more likely to prepare cashflow forecasts and to approach their accountant for advice. They are therefore now much better placed to make strategic decisions about their businesses.

Running your own business and being an entrepreneur can, however, be lonely and stressful in the best of times, let alone during a crisis. There can be a natural inclination to ‘pretend and extend’ rather than acknowledge and deal with any potential problems.

Whilst most Government support is coming to an end there are still certain financial support schemes available, such as the new Recovery Loan Scheme.

Your accountant is usually your most trusted adviser and best placed with their qualifications and experience to reassure you and assist you with your plans. The sooner you ask for assistance the better, as this will give you the most options and the best outcome.

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