A Yorkshire-based firm of chartered accountants and businesses advisors has helped its portfolio of clients secure over £10 million in financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shenward worked around the clock to develop true forecasts and understand the impact on trading abilities in order to present the most viable forms of funding in line with the criteria and regulations set out by the government.
The firm has also provided business support and advice to clients in order to claim other available government support such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Local Authority Grants and deferrals of VAT and income tax payments, which are not included in the £10 million figure.
Managing partner Sherad Dewedi (pictured) says that securing the funding has given clients breathing room to cope with financial losses thus preventing working capital issues, the need to lay off staff, and in more severe cases, liquidation:
“When the lockdown was enforced on March 23, several of our clients primarily in the retail, leisure, wholesale and hospitality sectors were stripped of the ability to generate revenue, thus putting them at immediate risk of facing financial difficulties.
“For many of these clients, accessing funds via the various schemes has been the lifeline they needed to protect their employees, keep their creditors at bay and prevent a future insolvency.”
In an announcement on May 12, the Chancellor confirmed that the banking and finance industry has provided almost £15 billion through the three major government-backed lending schemes alone.
Whilst a handful of other schemes exist, the three major schemes are the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan, the Bounce Back Loan, and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
Sherad says that each of the schemes come with differing benefits:
“We’ve found that the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans work well for larger funding requirements, whereas Bounce Back Loans, given the favourable interest rate and smaller debt amounts, are the better option for smaller firms.
“Whilst many have reported facing difficulties accessing funds via these avenues, we’ve found the process to be rather smooth, with clients receiving cash injections within just a few days of applying.”
The firm attributes part of this fast access to cash to step by step instructions and advice via the ability to continue trading during the lockdown with virtual meetings with clients and the fact that clients have had instant access to their trading performance via their own internal accounting platform, KashFlow.
Sherad added: “Two years ago, we launched a three-fold digital strategy that saw us roll out a new accounting software which gives clients instant access to their financial records and trading history, and it has been a huge asset to both our team and clients during the pandemic.”