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Covid-19 and Business – Survive, Revive and Thrive

As we head into the next phase of economic turbulence with the furlough scheme coming to an end, businesses are looking to take steps to ensure survival and long-term financial health.

In our latest webinar, Optimum’s interim CEO, Scott Braybrook joined Fidelius’ corporate client director, Mark Bradbury, and senior chartered financial planner, Ian Croxall to discuss the key financial considerations to accelerate businesses out of “lockdown”.

After Scott kicked off the webinar with an introduction, Mark talked attendees through what he has heard from clients over the past few months. He explained that companies have had to act quickly to secure funding to survive, from various sources including personal savings, government loans and the furlough scheme.

Mark went on to say: “Lockdown has had a considerable impact on revenues which has presented considerable cash flow challenges, as well as forced adaption for work forces and practices across the country to new working standards.”

He then passed over to senior financial planner, Ian Croxall, who conducted the first poll of the session. Results showed that 33% of attendees were most concerned about impact on revenues and 22% for employee concerns and significant changes to working practices.

Commenting on the results, Ian said: “It is quite consistent to see that those three have been the most relevant to our attendees, and probably all businesses. Some of the most common concerns we encounter is how can I control/reduce fixed costs? How can I protect my income and assets? Is there an alternative to taking on more debt? And how can I help and educate my staff through this period?”

Mark then explained certain financial actions that could be taken to help reduce costs. He talked about the Salary Sacrifice Scheme in relation to pension contributions; an agreement between an employer and employee where the employee exchanges part of their salary or bonus in return for a non cash benefit.

Mark then took the attendees through three case studies which looked at businesses which employed 15, 45 and 105 employees respectively and how much each company could save if it decided to do a Salary Sacrifice Scheme.

The second poll of the session showed that 57% of attendees’ employers operate a Salary Sacrifice Workplace Pension Scheme. Mark advised those that answered yes to always review how the scheme is set-up and make sure it is running in the right way to save as much money as possible.

Before Mark and Ian rounded the presentation up for the Q&A session, Ian talked through some key points which businesses should think about when protecting income and assets. These included using pension assets to raise capital, effective strategies to protect shareholders and family and setting solid foundations that enable growth.

Ian then discussed two case studies which looked at shareholder protections and use of pension assets to raise capital. Both case studies showed attendees example features that could be used to support both kinds of assets.

Mark concluded by stating that companies should: “review, review, review” by looking at what they have got in place and existing policies.

Scott Braybrook, interim CEO at Optimum, then chaired the engaging Q&A session. Together with Mark and Ian, he answered a multitude of questions from attendees covering topics including forecasting amid the current economic uncertainty and the most common advice each of the panellists have been giving to their clients during this time.

When asked about the webinar, Scott said: “I’d like to thank everyone who joined us on the webinar, it was a very insightful session. Mark and Ian provided a wealth of knowledge to attendees on how they can make savings and benefit their employees.

“I encourage anyone who is interested in any of the services or financial features we discussed to get in touch with either Ian, Mark or myself.”

You can watch the full webinar here: https://vimeo.com/459297402

Categories: Coronavirus, Information