With lending schemes transitioning and furlough coming to an end at the end of this month, small businesses are currently facing more financial uncertainty than ever.

In some respect, business leaders may use their experience of the first lockdown when preparing their finances for another. Looking back over the past six months, businesses can pinpoint specific struggles and strong points, using these to guide their business continuity plan for another lockdown. From the lessons we have taken from the months before, there are some key takeaways that businesses need to take on board to financially prepare for the difficult period ahead.

Some of the key considerations for businesses include:

Write a strong business plan:

A business plan for the next few months is critical. This should include a cash flow projection based on previous experience.

Utilise the government schemes at your disposal:

Businesses should ensure that they are utilising the government help to limit the effects of Coronavirus on business. This includes:

  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). This scheme provides government-backed finance of up £5 million on repayment terms of up to six years, with the government paying the fees and interest for the first year. Applications have to be made by the 30th November 2020.
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS). Either loans from £2,000 to £5,0000 or up to 25% of the business's turnover are available, whichever is lower. Repayment terms are up to six years, with no repayment required in the first year. The interest rate is fixed at 2.5% for the term, and the government pays the first year's interest. The loans can be repaid early with no charges. The application process is quite straightforward, and applications must be received by 30th November 2020.
  • Companies can take advantage of the deadline extension for filing accounts at Companies House to relieve pressure on staff time.
  • The Small Business Leadership Programme is a free fully funded programme delivered by business schools across the country was created to enhance small business resilience and recovery from the impact of Covid-19.

Look at revising your debt payment terms:

If businesses have existing debts which they are finding difficult to meet, they should consider agreeing to revised payment terms with their creditors. This is ultimately in the interest of both parties.

Although this is an incredibly difficult period, there are various schemes in place to help companies reduce the financial impact of Coronavirus on their business. By utilising these schemes and implementing a business plan guided by experience, businesses can ensure that they are in an optimal position to face a second lockdown.