Scotland Eases Lockdown and Update on financial measures to help businesses

Scotland Eases Lockdown and Update on financial measures to help businesses

Scotland: Route map for moving out of lockdown.

The document we have all been waiting for has been published. Download by clicking this link: ‘COVID-19: Framework for Decision Making – Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis’

Changes to working or running a business

    • Remote working remains the default position for those who can.
    • For those workplaces that are reopening, employers should encourage staggered start times and flexible working.
    • Non-essential outdoor workplaces with physical distancing resume once relevant guidance agreed.
    • Construction sector: Phased 0-2 of industry restart plan can be implemented. See below for more detail.
    • Preparing for the safe reopening of the housing market. “Further guidance is to be developed.”
    • Workplaces resuming in later phases can undertake preparatory work on physical distancing and hygiene measures.

The construction industry restart plan involves the following stages:-

Phase 0: Planning
Phase 1: Covid-19 Pre-start Site prep
Phase 2: ‘Soft start’ to site works (only where physical distancing can be maintained)
Phase 3: Steady state operation (only where physical distancing can be maintained)
Phase 4: Steady state operation (where physical distancing can be maintained and/or with PPE use)
Phase 5: Increasing density/productivity with experience
All other changes are summarised in the Appendix of the document.

HEALTH & SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

Returning to work presents significant Health & Safety challenges for employers. It is clear the HSE are monitoring this closely.

The UK Government has issued very detailed Guidance which should help you to restart your business safely. It is expected that Scottish businesses will be required to follow the same health and safety guidance once they are allowed to reopen.

Although health and safety is not our field of expertise, we can introduce you to H&S consultants should you require assistance.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS of the H&S requirements

  • Complying with the H&S requirements will involve unplanned expenditure and will delay the time when your operation can fully return to “business as usual”. That means your cash-flow needs to be updated to account for these issues, and it may mean that you will need to seek additional finance.
  • ad+ can help you to prepare the cash-flow forecast and any financial information needed to support your finance application.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate. 

Emergency Loan Fund for SME Housebuilders

  • Applications are now open support small and medium-sized housebuilders with liquidity issues due to the temporary closure of housebuilding sites.
    • ad+ can help you to prepare the information pack required to support your application:-
      Details of the company structure, ownership and directors.
      A copy of the company’s last audited accounts.
      Information on how COVID-19 has had a direct impact on the business.
      The amount of funding being sought, and what it will be used for.
      Company cashflow, including COVID-19 related costs and repayment profile. Template is provided in the application form.
      What security can be offered (if any).
      Details of the company’s existing lenders and securities.
      Bank details (applicants will be asked to provide a copy of a recent bank statement that is less than three months old and shows the account name, sort code and account number) – an authorised signatory, for the company, should sign this as a true copy.
      Details of efforts to secure funding from other private or own business sources.
      Details of attempts to secure funding from the Scottish Government, UK Government or other public sector COVID-19 schemes, alongside evidence of whether these attempts were successful.
      Confirmation that the business was not in difficulty before COVID-19 for state aid compliance.

Protection against bad debts

As we approach some form of return to work, it is reassuring to know that the UK Government is taking steps to help against bad debts by guaranteeing Trade Credit Insurance risks. This move will ensure existing insurance cover will remain in place and renewal premiums will not rocket.

Regrettably, the number of business failures will probably rise during the coming months, and that will lead to bad debts unless those invoices are covered by Trade Credit Insurance.

This Government backing is due to start at the end of May, and is provisionally planned to last until the end of the year.

Your insurance company or broker should give you details of how this will apply to your business. If you don’t have a broker we can introduce you to one.

Trade Credit Insurance should be viewed as one element of your total credit management and cash-flow forecasting procedures. We can help you install or upgrade any aspect of credit and financial management within your business.

Get in touch if you want to discuss any aspect of your business.

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