How Manchester Business Owners Can Protect Themselves Financially as the Tier 3 Threat Looms
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world economy in a number of huge and unprecedented ways. Most of us have never been through a period in time where everybody has been asked to stay at home to work remotely if possible – or even not work at all. Social distancing measures have become the norm with the primary goal of flattening the curve and reducing the spread and health effects of the virus.
But for businesses, it has had a huge effect – particularly on those in the retail, hospitality, catering, travel, education and entertainment industries. Business owners in Manchester are in a strange position right now as they prepare for the possibility of a Tier-3 lockdown just before Christmas, typically one of the busiest periods of the year. If your business will likely be affected again by stricter lockdowns, here’s what you can do to protect yourself financially.
Nobody wants to be out of an income and the good news is that it might be possible for you to put together a backup plan that involves making some changes to the way that your business is run in order for it to continue thriving. This was quite common during the first national lockdown when we saw a number of retail businesses scramble to offer online services. If you sell products from a brick and mortar store or run a restaurant, getting online is the best thing that you can do to protect your income right now – and the best news is that setting up a business website has become easier and cheaper than ever.
During the first lockdown there were grants and emergency funding given out to help business owners continue paying back business debts and paying the rent on premises that they were not able to use. But while Greater Manchester leaders are pushing back on the government’s request to go into Tier 3 lockdown without this type of funding, it’s impossible to be completely sure whether or not the UK government is going to provide Manchester with the same type of support if we need to go into lockdown for a second time. It might be worth negotiating with any business creditors that you have toinform them of the situation – chances are that you are not the only business owner in this boat, and creditors may have measures in place to support you such as allowing you to freeze repayments or make reduced payments until things start to get back to normal.
If the COVID-19 pandemic has left you on a reduced income, you might have considered the option of borrowing money to help you cover your personal expenses for the time being. But if you don’t have the best credit rating, this might be difficult to achieve. New Horizons is a short-term loan broker that will help you find the best loan for bad credit. New Horizons also offers a range of informative articles and guides to help you make sure that you are borrowing as responsibly as possible while avoiding putting yourself in further financial difficulty. You can find loans that are repaid in full on the next payment date or spread out across a number of months.
If your business has to close down for a Tier 3 lockdown, it’s worth considering which expenses you have to continue paying and which you can get rid of for the time being. For example, any offline marketing that directs potential customers to your brick and mortar location might be worth cancelling for now until they are of use to you again; if you’re setting up online then that money is probably better off spent on building your online presence and letting your customers know that you’re still around but with a different way of doing things.
If your business is in an industry like entertainment that would be difficult or impossible to set up online quickly, it might be worth the option of considering starting something new to help you make it through the pandemic. Many business owners have been successful with a completely new venture while their original company had to close. It’s worth considering new business ideas that could be set up quickly and are likely to be in high demand right now, such as food delivery services or an online store for face masks, hand sanitiser and other pandemic essentials. If you have a skill like web design or writing, you might be able to find some freelance work online to keep you going until your business can get back to normal.
Along with being aware of any financial support that is available to you, keep these ideas in mind to help you and your business stay afloat during these uncertain times.