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Coronavirus: Guidance and support for businesses

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Coronavirus (Covid-19) is impacting many businesses and it’s important that plans are put in place to get through this challenging period as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips for businesses to provide some guidance during this time:

1. Keep your employees safe

Ensure all employees, particularly those in vulnerable groups are strongly advised to adhere to the social distancing guidance and isolation rules.

Following information from the World Health Organisation, the government and public health officials, keep your employees up to date and communicate steps the business is taking to support them.

Ensure that managers are clear on relevant processes such as sickness reporting and sick pay.

Review your business continuity plan and ensure that all employee’s contact details are up to date.

2. Take care of your mental health

Covid-19 is causing a lot of worry for businesses and employees so it’s more important than ever to ensure that you are looking after the mental well-being of everyone in the business.

There are plenty of resources online, including:

  • Federation of Small Business’ (FSB) ‘Wellbeing in small business hub’
  • Mind has issued guidance around mental health, specifically tailored to Covid-19, which includes tips for mental health when working at home

It’s also important to encourage employees to continue to take breaks and try to avoid continuing to work later than they normally would and sign-off just as they would usually leave the office.

Try to stay connected as colleagues and utilise video call software to catch-up and interact.

3. Assess and manage financial risks

Remain up-to-date with market conditions and changes that are likely to impact your business, such as interest rates and demand.

Review your insurance policies to ensure you are covered as you expect.

Consider government measures that have been put in place to provide support for businesses, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and small business grant funding.

Remain in contact with your bank for guidance on immediate support or relief available.

4. Review your supply chain and logistics

It’s vital that your supply chain is reviewed during this time to account for any closures or disruption to elements of the chain, such as the transport of goods.

Ensure that you plan effectively for any disruption to the supply chain and/or service providers you rely on.

5. Government support for SMEs

Further information around the government support provided for businesses can be found here. It’s important that plans are put in place and maintained during this challenging time, to support businesses, business owners and all employees.

Government support available includes measures such as business rates holidays, deferred VAT payments and sick-pay packages.

Paragon Banking Group PLC.  Registered in England number 2336032.  Registered office 51 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands  B91 3QJ.