It seems at the moment the world is moving at lightspeed. The news every day is changing and, whilst some of the lockdown restrictions are being eased, we’re still very, very far from “normal”. I for one long for the days when Microsoft Teams was a bit of an irritation when I turned my computer on – here at O’Brien Media it’s now become central to the way we work together!
At the beginning of last week, the government released guidance for businesses on how to get people back into the office. This was accompanied by the welcome news that the furlough scheme is to be extended – this will be a lifeline for many small (and large) businesses.
Banks, including our partner Tide, are offering Government-backed “Bounce Back Loans” that allow smaller firms to get hold of cash, quickly. A finance director I worked for once told me that businesses don’t go under because of lack of profit – the go under because they run out of cash. These sorts of loans should, therefore, be a comfort for many businesses, particularly given ONS statistics released earlier this week: 44% of businesses said their cash reserves wouldn’t last the next six months; almost a quarter weren’t sure how long their reserves would last; 4% had no reserves at all.
It feels like one eye is now fixed on the future – what happens when life (however gradually) returns to normal – and what state will the economy be in? All of the economic indicators and commentators are suggesting we’re heading for, at the very least, a recession. How deep and how long that recession lasts remains to be seen.
I’ve been wondering what smaller businesses can do to support each other during this crisis. Wherever possible, I (and my colleagues at O’Brien Media) are shopping local and shopping from small businesses. For example, we have milk delivered in good old glass bottles – good for the environment, but also good for the small farm that produces it. When sending gifts, we’ve all been using small craft businesses on Etsy (as you’ll have seen from our Twitter and Instagram feeds!).
For us, helping other small businesses through this crisis is really important. If there’s anything we can do to help support you, please get in touch. We’re very much all in this together – we want to continue working with you when this crisis is over!