It has been several weeks now since the whole country has come to a standstill. We still have strict restrictions in place, however there is still a lot we can do to ensure our businesses does not just fade away. We have all put endless efforts into our business and now is not the time to just give up. You should still be on social media, promoting your business, so once all this is over, and it will all be over, your business is in the front of everyone’s minds.

 

Our previous Coronavirus Blog detailed how you could get support from the Government Retention Scheme to the grants that are available. To read our previous blog, please click here https://bit.ly/Covid19interruptionCrossAcc

 

Bounce Back Loan

 

There will be support in the form of a bounce back loan which will help you to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan is capped at £50,000. The government has guaranteed 100% of the loan and there will not be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.

 

To be able to apply for the loan you will have to be based in the UK, have been in business before 1st March 2020 and your success or development have been impacted by the coronavirus.

 

You cannot apply if you are already claiming under Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme or COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility. If you have already received a loan of up to £50,000 under one of these schemes you can transfer it into the Bounce Back Loan scheme. A deadline of 4 November 2020 has been set to arrange with your lender.

 

The length of the loan is 6 years, but you can repay early without paying a fee. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months and any charges for the loan will be covered by the governments guarantee.

 

There are several lenders participating in the scheme including many of the main retail banks. You should approach a suitable lender yourself via the bank’s website. The lender will ask you to fill in a short online application form and self-declare that you are eligible. The lender will decide whether to offer you a loan or another type of finance and you will be responsible for repaying 100% of the amount borrowed.

 

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

 

In line with the Chancellors commitment to help businesses who have been affected by the coronavirus, HMRC have launched the self-employment scheme. You should receive a letter through the post stating that you may be eligible. You will have to go to the HMRC website and complete an eligibility checker to see if you are eligible. You will need your National Insurance number and Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number.

 

If HMRC confirm you are eligible, then you will need your Government gateway and user ID and password, if you have not created this yet, you will have to, to commence with the claim. You will have to enter your correct contact details as HMRC will contact you, using these details to tell you when the claim system is available for use.

 

HMRC will automatically calculate the income support you are entitled to, based on the information submitted from previous tax returns. After HMRC have received and checked your claim, they will pay the money directly in to your bank account in six working days.

 

You will need to make the claim yourself, although you can seek advice from an accountant. The grant is also not for limited companies or anyone operating a trade through a trust. HMRC will check claims and take action to withhold or recover payments found to be dishonest or inaccurate.

 

We are still available on the phone and by email, so if you do want to talk through what may be your best option, please feel free to contact us. We are always happy to help.

Improving your credit score

We are seeing an increasing number of our clients looking for mortgages and loans with their banks. It’s a good thing because it means that our client base is looking ahead at moving home, moving up the ladder by getting a more expensive house, or expanding their businesses.

As owners/directors of a business, your business and personal lives cross over, so these tips to get that dream house or expanding your business to meet your strategic goals will be similar.

The banks and finance houses look at a number of things when deciding whether to loan you money.

Can you pay it back ?

Do you meet their risk assessment criteria ?

What assets do you own ?

As a soletrader or Director of a Limited company your accounts to a bank are just as important as the personal income you are taking from the business.

They generally look at three years accounts, wanting to see that not only is the director taking an income, there is a defined growth year on year, the director is not taking out the complete amount of disposable profit, and keeping the balance sheet positive. This also needs to show year on year growth.

There are two main figures which are of high importance on a balance sheet ive discussed previously, the Net Current Assets, which is an indication of working capital, or cash in the business. The other figure is the overall total balance sheet value, this again needs to be positive.

The more money you wish to borrow the stronger the balance sheet and directors income needs to be.

This is not an overnight task but needs to be planned ahead over a period of time, but by putting in some self restraint and leaving funds or assets in the business you are over time improving your credit score.

Another scoring technique the bank uses is the amount of credit the company is taking and asking for. Whether is through credit with suppliers, a credit card, or a short term loan, ie overdraft. The bank will be checking your records demonstrating that you are being given credit by 3rd parties and are paying it back on time and within the terms of those agreements.

We have a number of clients who have been able to self sustain their businesses by not needing to apply for credit. This will unfortunately go against you if you are looking to expand. You need to be applying for credit every so often so that your credit history is gaining information. Even if you don’t need the money, and don’t want to pay any interest. You can apply for a credit card and just make sure you pay it off at the end of the month, you are naturally improving your credit score just by applying for the credit.

If you have an overdraft already in place its worth having a meeting with your bank manager keeping them informed of your plans for the future. We as a business put it into our routine to have a meeting every six months. As a company did this recently not only did the bank provide us with a larger overdraft than we had originally asked for, but as we had built up a good credit score, and were considered low risk to them they reduced the interest rate voluntarily by half for a much larger credit facility. It is definitely worth staying in touch with your bank manager.

Your own operational processes within the business. If you are giving credit to customers, make sure you are keeping on top of chasing the debt. Keeping your cash inflows at regular intervals this means to a bank that you are very active and have good controls in place, making you low risk to them. Next time youre reading your bank statement take a look and check not only the value of the cash inflows but the number of transactions. Frequent transaction is gold dust to a bank you are demonstrating large activity.

The cash outflows, if you are using an overdraft be sure to come out of the overdraft and into positive at least once a month. And never go over the overdraft. You will be penalised badly by the bank for doing so and can even have a much needed resource taken away. Remember an overdraft is very short term, it can be recalled and cancelled at anytime. I hope you find this article useful and use it a planning tool for your future, both personal and professional.

 

 

 

 

This blog is intended for information purposes only and is only advice from past experience, you may have other suggestions of your own. It is not intended to be used to make all of your business decisions but as a guide only.

For anyone who is looking at taking on a an employee in the next 12 months, then this article is just for you.

There is a good budget at the moment with assistance with wages for both apprenticeships and graduate schemes.

ACT Training is providing training and assistance to young people aged 16 - 24 years.  Take a look at their website on /www.acttraining.org.uk/apprenticeships-2

Paying £100 towards wages on a full time placement for the first six months, followed by £50 per week for the next six months.  There is also funding for training available.  Take a look at this website its got some useful information the helpline is good too.

Jobs Growth Wales again is offering placements for six months, paying the national minimum wages for the first six months.

website is wales.gov.uk/topics/educationandskills/skillsandtraining/jobsgrowthwales/?lang=en

Lastly the graduate scheme at Go Wales.  I recently attended their 10 year anniversary event, this organisation is actively seeking employment for students.  There are two schemes in place the placement scheme where the student stays with you for a six month placement and Go Wales supports the wages bill.  

Or you can have the taster sessions where the student get a small taster of your business which is great for if you have a project in mind to be finished, or are unsure whether you can employ a person.   The taster sessions are normally free of payment.

www.gowales.co.uk/en/employer

Think of this article as taking a look into the future and growing your business, you are also giving a young person the opportunity that you once had.  So go on what are you waiting for?

 

Thanks Nicola