20 Nov 2020
With more than two million people to be placed under Scotland's toughest Covid lockdown restrictions from today when level four rules are imposed in 11 council areas across western and central Scotland, including Glasgow, Chartered Accountants Wylie & Bisset is advising businesses to plan for changing levels as a matter of urgency.
Under level four rules, non-essential shops, pubs, restaurants and gyms will have to close until 11 December.
Catherine Livingstone, Director at Wylie & Bisset said: “While businesses need to assess the impact of localised lockdowns, the fact that they have already been through the most extreme lockdown measures last March, means that they know what the likely impact will be and whether they are going to be able to trade at all or at a much reduced capacity.”
Livingstone suggests that many of the businesses that struggled through the first phase of Covid might struggle to survive a second lockdown unless there is significant funding support made available from the government.
“Businesses need to assess what they can do in terms of a localised lockdown and develop an operational plan for the level 4 scenario as soon as possible,” she said.
“Many businesses are at the point where they have already used up their cash reserves and the funding from the government is insufficient so it is questionable that can they survive in the short-term with potentially increased costs and reduced trade activity.
“Such businesses need to assess the worst-case financial impact on their business and do some cashflow forecasting. They need to maximise what funding and support they can access from the government.
“They will need very robust cashflow forecasting and budgeting to make sure that they have the money in the bank to pay the bills and wages.”
Livingstone suggests that it will be next autumn before an effective Covid vaccine will be widely available so that some restrictions on business activity are likely to be in place for the next year.
“Businesses will need cash flow and budget forecasts and up to date accurate financial information to enable financial planning to help steer them through the local restrictions.”