Getting through the COVID-19 crisis

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020

Here at Wolverhampton Accountants Copia Wealth & Tax, we continue to operate to provide our usual services together with the additional support our clients need at this difficult time – while on some days our phones have been ringing off the hook, we are still here to help wherever we can.

Following our previous articles, we’ve set out below some practical advice about what to do together with brief reminders of the support available to business.

Focus on what you can control

The Government has stepped in to provide support to certain areas of the economy; however even with this becoming available in the coming weeks, some of us will need advice on how to survive the lock down. 

Here are our thoughts: 

  1. Apply for all appropriate Government supports if you need them.
  2. Stay strong – the health of you and your family is more important than your business.
  3. Talk to us to help work through forecasts or get the figures needed for the bank.
  4. Keep sane – you cannot control this; relax and keep busy, research, get new skills, look for new technology and above all keep in regular contact with customers, suppliers, friends and family.
  5. Plan for the end of the lock down – think about how you would do things differently in this changed world.

We cannot know how long this crisis will last and the effects it will have on business generally. What we can do is stay focused and committed to rebuilding our businesses, i.e. focus on what we can control rather than what we cannot.

Please contact us regarding Government, cash flow and payroll support. Our business depends on yours and we are all in this together.

Reminders on Government support

Here is a quick summary of the main Government supports available:


We have published previous articles setting out the details of these schemes and how to access them. Please note that details from the Government on the  full range of support schemes can be found at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support 

There is also a useful tool that the Government has released to signpost you to the schemes available to you after answering a few relevant questions – it can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder 

The job retention scheme was opened on 20th April with first grant payments promised in six working days. Thus far, the portal seems to be operating effectively, although there are examples of the portal crashing before a claim is submitted and information having to be input again.

The claim system for SSP recovery is expected to go live in May.

The Self-employed scheme has started to progress with payments due to start in early June, but we would suggest that those eligible for the scheme who have not been contacted by HMRC by mid-May about applying for a grant should consider contacting HMRC to ensure they have not been missed out.

Please talk to us if you need help with any of the supports available – we are keeping up to date with all the latest guidance.

What are your business scenarios as a result of the crisis?

The stark reality is that there is a change in the economic environment and business owners have the following scenarios to consider:

If you want to put a new strategy in place, talk to us about some of the planning tools we have available and putting together some projections. 

Cocooning a business

Some businesses are going to need to “cocoon” (or mothball) until the Government considers the pandemic to be of lower risk and trading conditions improve. 

If you are considering this scenario, there are four principles to follow:

  1. Prioritise – Focus attention on the biggest cost items and those critical to the future of the business. These are the ones which need attention first and will have the biggest impact (e.g. payroll, rent). Once these are managed, attention can be turned to the smaller / less critical costs.  
  2. Communicate – Ensure that relevant stakeholders are being informed of what is going on. Remember to be honest and upfront (even if delivering bad news) as this will help maintain relations with stakeholders. Taking a head in the sand approach will not prove fruitful, even if it means having to have difficult conversations.
  3. Negotiate – These are unprecedented times and every business and person will have been impacted by COVID-19 in some way. This means there are no pre-set solutions and the opportunity to negotiate and find more innovative ways of dealing with problems is possible.
  4. Think long term – As well as considering how you cocoon the business you should also be thinking about how to emerge from the cocoon in the future.  Simply stopping paying creditors is likely to mean there will be a stack of overdue demands when returning the business to operation in the future.  The solution is communicating and trying to find solutions that work for both parties such as incentives, payment in kind, payment plans etc. If your operation is to re-start it is not just a case of flicking a switch so you should be thinking about how the restart process is going to work.

If this is your strategy, we have written a document available called “Cocooning a business”. Please ask if you would like a copy and we will send this to you. 

Finally, can we help?

At this point we are all getting frustrated and perhaps in danger of coming down with “cabin fever”, so it is important to keep your focus and ensure you have a strategy in place to get through this crisis and emerge successfully on the other side of it. 

At Copia Wealth & Tax, Wolverhampton, we recognise the importance of us “just being there” to provide support. If you should need a helping hand with any of this, we are only a phone call away. With that in mind, if you would like to have a chat in complete confidence with our friendly in-house experts, call us on 01902 783172 or alternatively, just click HERE to contact us using the form on our website.

In the meantime, please stay safe and we very much look forward to hearing from you!