Coronavirus Update for Businesses
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE FOR BUSINESSES – 31 MARCH 2020
In order to try and help the economy in these unprecedented times, the Chancellor has outlined a number of packages to help you and your business hopefully get through this awful situation and come through the other side with as little damage as possible.
• a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme;
• deferring VAT and Income Tax payments;
• a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs;
• a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England;
• small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief;
• grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000;
• the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank;
• a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans;
• the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme;
• A number of other easing of deadlines, e.g. limited companies can apply to Companies House for a three month extension for filing accounts so avoiding late filing fines and easing the many pressures that firms are experiencing currently.
In addition to this, anyone can register for regular Government email updates, if you feel this would be useful to you and your business. This could be helpful given the current state of everything and how worrying this is for all concerned.
For further information on any of these schemes or helpful tips, please find more information on the official government web page:
Stay safe and take care
Corona Virus Policy - Further Update
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 23 MARCH 2020
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE THE OFFICE IS NOW ON REDUCED WORKING HOURS
Further to the announcement last week regarding the ‘self-isolation’ of the office, we have now taken a further step to reduce the office to skeleton staff and reduced hours.
We took steps last week to ensure that all staff can work from the safety of their own home and this will therefore continue for the foreseeable future.
Please continue to drop anything through the letterbox as this will be picked up and administered daily and contact your adviser direct to advise them that you have done so.
The office telephone will go straight to voice-message, but this will be picked up throughout the day.
We are doing this to protect our clients and our staff and we want to come out of this awful situation unscathed.
As usual, we will be on hand to answer any queries or concerns that you may have.
Please stay safe and look after your friends and family (from a distance).
Market Commentary March 2020
Updated Market Commentary Tuesday 17 March 2020
In the unprecedented volatility of current markets, we now find ourselves writing a second market commentary in the space of 2 weeks.
Knowing what to do for the best in the middle of a highly stressful and uncertain time is very difficult and we appreciate that it is easy enough to say ‘don’t panic and sit tight’ however, with people all around you selling out at current lows, it is no wonder that some may wish to follow suit. There is the conflicting advice of the media telling you to retain cash and then others advising that this is the best time to buy. And the only people that seem to be speaking out are the ones that are panicking. You do not usually hear from ones that are not.
Although, we cannot have a crystal ball, the decision today to self-isolate the office to protect our clients and staff did not come easy and from the bottom of our hearts, is a decision we did not take lightly. We want to continue as normal as possible and offer the friendly personal service that we always have but we also feel that the safety of staff and clients is imperative. We do believe that this awful virus (albeit that it has not yet affected our area as much as many others) will go as quick as it came; however, it is “when”, that is the question.
The decision to stay in the market was, we believe, the right one and one we still stand by. Corporate dividends have not yet been cut and continue to come through on investments and this going forward should help in pulling back some of the losses you have experienced over the past 3 weeks.
We still feel that a good spread of investments is the key. Market changes should not change your asset mix. Your asset mix should change mostly when your personal situation changes. Things like retirement, major purchases, divorce, or significant health changes — all of these might be times when a change is more important.
Historically, the charts (and I have included the US and UK markets graph) do not look as negative as the media are currently portraying and we just hope that most of you will take our advice, wait for the recovery to come and keep yourselves safe at this uncertain time. As always, we will be here, on hand, to offer any ‘over the telephone or email advice’ required.
We cannot of course guarantee that things will recover to their previous levels however, we do feel this is possible.
Market Commentary – March 2020
Our last market commentary had nothing but positive statements to portray and this is in stark contrast to what has happened over the past couple of weeks.
Black Monday on 9 March 2020 saw global stock markets plunge after Saudi Arabia and Russia locked horns on the crude oil price and how much each country would be producing. This sent oil prices down and the US market to actually stop trading for 15 minutes, while everybody took a moment to breathe and try to think rationally. This was on top of the panic instilled into the market by the Coronavirus. Monday’s drop wiped about $1.9 trillion off the S&P 500’s market value. But……nothing has actually changed to warrant that. Corporate earnings and the valuation of companies have not reduced by $1.9 trillion in one day!
Media headlines are full of warnings about unending global recession as the world allegedly rethinks globalization and central banks run out of steam and each day is compared to the 2008 financial crisis.
We do think the market’s reaction to the coronavirus is unwarranted. We agree that this is having a huge impact on global stock markets, but we still think this impact should be temporary. There are a lot of high-profile headlines, and delaying festivals and sports events will have local impact as well as a huge knock to the travel industry however, retailers are likely benefiting from higher demand for consumer staples, as we are constantly hearing about supermarket shelves bereft of loo rolls and hand sanitizer!
The budget on 11 March pledged £5 billion to help NHS and public services against the coronavirus and interest rates were also cut this week to 0.25% in a bid to help the economy and limit the downside.
On a positive note, rock-bottom mortgage rates are fuelling housing demand in the US and although we can continue to expect volatility over the coming weeks, the US economy has not come to a screeching halt.
We are therefore encouraging you to look at the future, not just the next few weeks, but the next several months and accept that the panic is emotional and not financial.
Selling investments now is too late and one we would not have encouraged anyway. Valuable dividends are lost trying to ‘time the market’ and if your investment goals require long-term growth, participating in the recoveries that follow stock market corrections is generally vital.
As is always our view; clients who are patient through difficult times will benefit more than those who give up their future returns for the sake of avoiding volatility now.
While there is no way to know how much longer this volatility will continue, we still think investors seeking long-term growth will benefit most from staying calm and awaiting the recovery.
As always however, should you wish to discuss your portfolio in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact us.