Here at Direct Peak we have clearly seen the impact and some negative effects of COVID on the business community. However, while there have been many challenges for the business community, there have been lots of opportunities too. The COVID-crisis is ever-evolving, and changes are happening all the time. It is essential that business owners have the ability and knowledge to be agile and react quickly to change.
The UK is officially in recession. We all need to identify opportunities for growth. We also need to be aware of the areas in the business where we can cut wasted spending.
As a business owner, if you are looking to apply for grants or funding, you need to know your numbers. Financial forecasting can help you identify the key areas of your business profitability. This is evidence for you and organisations offering grants or funding, that your business was in a good position before COVID, and you are ready to take advantage of emerging opportunities.
Many grant and loan providers will need to see proof of your business financials, where your business is at and where it is heading. By having a financial forecast in place, these providers can easily see how the grant or funding can help you expand and grow.
If you are business that is coming through COVID and are looking to access grants or funding for post-COVID business support, then this is a must-read blog post for you.
What COVID Financial Support Is Available?
There are various financial support options available to businesses during the coronavirus outbreak. For example, employers can apply for the coronavirus job retention scheme funding to support them with paying employees. There are other options which offer both tax relief and funding, all are outlined below:
Tax Relief for Business
The government is offering support with paying tax regarding deferring VAT payments and self-assessment payments. If you cannot pay your tax bill on time, this is well worth looking into.
If you are a business in the retail, hospitality or leisure industries you will be eligible for business rates relief. Some nurseries are also eligible for the business rates relief. If you are a nursery, it is worth checking with your accountant or looking on the government website to see the coronavirus financial support available.
Business Support Grants
There are some business support grants available throughout England. These include a small business grant fund, a grant fund for those in the retail, hospitality and leisure industries too. You may be able to apply for the local authority discretionary grants fund too.
If you are self-employed you can claim a grant through the SEISS, also known as the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. The first round has already ended, but the second round has just opened on the 17th August.
There is financial support available for small and medium-sized businesses too. This includes a coronavirus business interruption loan scheme, the coronavirus future fund or the coronavirus bounce back loan. Again, with a financial forecast in place, it will be easier to apply for the available grants and funding.
As a large business there is the large business interruption loan scheme available to you. You may also be able to apply for the COVID-19 corporate financing facility.
What Is Financial Forecasting?
If you want to apply for funding, loans or grants a financial forecast will really help you. It allows you to see what your business finances look like going forward. This is the information that providers of grants, loans and funding will often need to see when deciding if you are eligible for their money.
However, financial forecasting helps in other ways too. It will identify your key areas of profitability. This enables you to see what areas of your business bring in the most money, and therefore which areas of the business you need to focus on.
Here at Direct Peak we create financial forecasts for 12 months. If you have a very clear long-term vision, we can forecast for longer periods. We don’t recommend longer financial forecasts though as things in business can change so quickly.
Our accountants will create a three-way financial forecast for you. This incorporates your profit and loss, your balance sheet and your cash-flow. By including cash-flow in the financial forecast you can see what funding you may need and how long you will need it for. This will often be an essential part in the process of applying for a grant or funding.
When we are working on a financial forecast for you, we will include a planning session. During the planning session we will sense check your growth plans. This helps us ensure that nothing is missed. For example, if sales revenue is growing what level will it need to be at to bring in a new member of staff. Further growth may need an office expansion, so we will include when this will need to be.
If you are looking to access grants and funding post-COVID or are considering grants to help with the growth of your business; contact our team now. We can help you fully understand the financial support out there for your business and help ensure you are accepted for the funding available.