Coronavirus Update 24th of March 2020

Coronavirus Lockdown - The Latest 

Whilst it appears there are no further updates to support for businesses at this current time, it is important to acknowledge the latest announcement by the Government. 

As a nation we have now been told we can only leave our homes for one of the following four reasons:

  • Shopping for necessities, to be limited to items like food and medicine. These shopping trips should be as infrequent as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day, to be carried out either alone or with members of your household only.
  • Any medical need, or to care for a vulnerable person. This includes movement of children under the age of 18 between parents’ homes. Key workers or those with vulnerable children can continue to take their children to school.
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where absolutely necessary.

Social Distancing - the New Normal

Even whilst following the above guidance, people should minimise time spent away from home and keep two metres apart from those who they do not live with.

All social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies have also been stopped. For now, funerals are still allowed.

Businesses that will not need to close include:

  • Restaurants, cafes and work canteens – but only for delivery and takeaway services
  • Supermarkets and other premises selling food, including market stalls
  • Health shops, such as pharmacies
  • Petrol stations, garages and car rental businesses
  • Bicycle shops
  • Home and hardware shops
  • Launderettes and dry cleaners
  • Pet shops
  • Corner shops, newsagents and post offices
  • Banks

What Businesses Will Still be Open?

Other premises including libraries, non-essential shops, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship have all been ordered to close.

Parks can remain open for exercise, but people must not gather in groups.

Community centres can remain open but only for the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public services such as food banks or services for homeless people.

Hotels, hostels, campsites and caravan parks must also close, unless key workers need to stay there, or if others on site cannot return to their primary residence.

These restrictions will be in place for a minimum of 3 weeks, and the police have been given powers to enforce these rules by means of issuing fines and dispersing gatherings.

How Can we Manage our Business During Lockdown?

These measures will obviously affect many of your businesses, but the safety of you and others around you is paramount. 

We will try to assist where we can by applying for any financial support your business may need, helping get you transitioned onto Xero to ensure you can continue working remotely as effectively as possible, and continuing to offer the same services as before to keep your business running as smoothly as possible.

In addition to the above, we are currently researching a system which will enable us to assist with loan applications and submissions and hope to have this up and running by the end of the week. 

Some banks have now updated their websites to include the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. For example, Santander requests businesses apply for funding as normal, and where applications are unable to meet normal lending requirements, the business will then be considered for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme if eligible. By getting a system in place ourselves, we are hoping to have information on most, if not all lenders, and their requirements to enable us to assist you in getting funding in the most efficient way.

We have already been approached by third parties who will assist with funding requirements for businesses so you may also receive similar calls.  

Whilst we understand everyone’s financial needs differ, it may be beneficial to try and wait until further details of all the financial support packages are available to ensure the best choices are made for your business needs.

It is understood that the Government are currently working to ensure the self-employed have as much support as the employed and limited companies. We will update you as soon as we receive more information on this.

Should you require any additional services to those you already receive from us, or any other information, please do not hesitate to get in contact.

SAS Accounting is an independent full-service team of accountants in Colchester. We offer no-nonsense, jargon-free help to keep your finances in check and your time available for when you need it most.


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