Many businesses are set to suffer due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The closing of bars and restaurants by the Government, plus some larger high street businesses taking their own decisions to close, has emptied the high street of shoppers.

The increased pressure to stay at home has reduced the numbers traveling to work and using local coffee shops, newsagents, sandwich shops etc.

The social isolation will also impact other businesses such as hairdressers, florists, clothing and footwear as well as those in the leisure sectors.

Some of these businesses may have been struggling anyway which will be made worse by the current crisis.

This may push some businesses and companies towards insolvency.

With the new business worries and the high level of uncertainty and disruption comes a whole range of questions and worries for business owners about what they can do to help them survive the crisis as well as protecting themselves should the worst happen.

As a business owner or director of a limited company, you not only have a duty to your business and its creditors but you will also need to consider the welfare of your employees in this difficult time.

Our advice at present is the same as always – take early advice.

Please talk to your usual advisors but also speak to a locally based insolvency practitioner who has specialist skills and knowledge to help in the current crisis, particularly if their ethos is based around business rescue such as Harrisons Business Rescue.

Harrisons Business Rescue works with a network of business specialists that can bring their own skills to help find a solution that works.

By taking action early, a plan can be put in place to help save the business or company.

This may involve looking at sources of funding or financial support, some of which can be from Government, using HMRC time to pay agreements etc.

Other areas may involve new marketing and making the business more accessible to people staying at home such as longer or different opening hours or providing a delivery option using the usual resources plus things like taxis for local deliveries.

In the case of NHS staff, open at unusual hours or tailor your service to suit their hours and situation.

A difficult thing to do at a time when you are struggling and the future is uncertain, is to talk to your key staff, suppliers and creditors about the situation.

Most will understand and be in a similar situation themselves

For staff, it will help reassure them that you are working hard to keep the business afloat.

If you are a director of a limited company you have statutory duties to preserve assets, not preferring one or a few creditors, payments of dividends etc which can carry personal liability but where the risk can be removed by taking professional advice.

Should you have any questions about your business or a worried about its viability in the current crisis, pleas speak to us.

We are here to help you.

All of our partners have a broad range of business experience and can be contacted through one central point to ensure we find the right person to help you or 01476 574149