Tips to help businesses affected by the floods

Tips to help businesses affected by the floods

All the business planning in the world cannot prevent catastrophic events happening, but it can reduce their impact. The recent floods in Yorkshire, Cumbria and further afield have left many businesses counting the cost of a ruined Christmas and New Year holiday trading period.

Hopefully insurance will cover the costs of clearance, replacement and lost trade, but it could be some time before funds come through.

What do businesses do in the meantime, if they are struggling to pay their suppliers and other creditors?

Peter Sargent, consultant at BHP Clough Corporate Solutions, said: “Hopefully HMRC, banks, and Local Authorities will be understanding and give them some time to pay, freeze or cancel the debts (in the case of business rates).

“Indeed, Government compensation for the recent floods is being delivered at a local level, so in some areas council tax and some utility bills have already been waived or postponed.

"HMRC has set up a flooding tax hotline (0800 904 7900) and will be dealing with cases on an individual basis to give the help that is needed.

“This should all help, however trade creditors will still need to be paid so that they can pay their own suppliers.

"Insolvency Practitioners who are experienced in negotiating and crisis management can help businesses through this difficult period and where appropriate can advise on either a Company or Individual Voluntary Arrangement, or even Administration, to protect the business whilst it re-establishes itself."

Sargent added: “I think the most important thing for businesses is to act fast and talk to their accountants and business advisors to ensure they are able to make the best of this very difficult situation.

"Businesses shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help, there is a helping hand for them.”