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21st April 2020Partnering with clients through Covid-19 – Stories of how we have been supporting and advising clients

Helping the Retail Industry Keep Up-to-Date and Make Well-Informed Decisions for the Future

Partner: Ross Fabian
Client: European distributor for a sports footwear brand
Advising on: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

During the last two weeks, the global pandemic has escalated into a financial crisis in the UK, as businesses were forced to shut and uncertainty became the new “norm”. HW Fisher has been in constant contact with all its clients to understand how the effects of the virus has impacted them and how the Government support may be able to help.

One of my clients is a company that came under immediate pressure the moment the crisis started to unfold with retail stores closing, online stock logistics became impossible as well as the cancellation of the London Marathon and related sales events. We have been advising the directors on the CJRS and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme; as well as on VAT deferment and various matters in respect of their personal affairs, like income tax deferment and assisting them with contacting the bank about mortgage payments. The client has received the email updates from HW Fisher and attended our webinar for businesses on 31 March. They have also been keeping up to date on all new government initiatives in the new COVID-19 Hub section on our website. The future is clearly going to remain particularly challenging – with stock and cash flow management vitally important – as the company understands the new environment, inevitably pivots its position and develops a new strategy for the future.

Contact Ross Fabian for advice and support for your business during Covid-19.


Working with Clients in the Garment Manufacturing Industry to Prepare Bank Funding Proposals

Partner: Navin Thaker
Client: Garment manufacturer based in the Far East and Italy
Advising on: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

My client manufactures garments, sending fabric from Italy to the Far East to be used in the manufacturing process. The garments are supplied to major department stores and are made to order. The customers choose designs and order the goods 9-12 months before the season starts to allow for lead time to manufacture and ship.

Before the Covid-19 crisis hit, the business was already facing uncertainty, due to the timing of Brexit, the recent general election and its impact particularly on UK economy and forex. In order not to get caught out by these uncertainties my client ordered the goods much earlier than it would have done normally. Arrangements were made for the bank to provide short term additional stock funding until the start of normal call-off, invoicing and payment period.

The Covid-19 pandemic has however seen department stores cancelling their orders where they could, resulting in a significant delay to suppliers getting paid for those goods.

My client had no choice but to start making plans to get the stock funding extended. We worked to assist in the preparation of the bank proposal to include varying illustrations to show the impact on funding requirements under a number of different scenarios e.g. a much longer recovery period, loss of some business, drop in margins and possible use of the Business Interruption Loan Scheme where appropriate.

In addition, the payroll department helped provide the calculations for staff to be possibly furloughed if needed. We also helped with deferment of VAT and Corporation Tax liability and advice on rental deferment, etc.

Contact Navin Thaker for advice and support for your business during Covid-19.


Partnering with a Hotel Sector Client to Deal with the Impacts of Hotel Closures

Partner: Simon Mott-Cowan
Client: Hotel sector
Advising on: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Since the start of Covid-19 I have been liaising with a client in the hotel sector as they were at risk of being significantly affected by the virus. The client has been keeping up to date with the advice provided in the Covid-19 guidance hub on our website and I have been speaking to them on a regular basis.

The advice centred on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

At this point in time the key for this client was to deal with the closure of its hotels although one of them which is opposite a hospital was going to stay open as long as possible. The client has now furloughed most of their staff and will be looking at cashflows in order to decide whether they should apply for a loan under the CBILS scheme.

The issue as with a lot of businesses is that the CJRS scheme is assistance provided by the government, but all of the other measures are either deferral to assist with cashflow or will involve taking on borrowing in the business which is not necessarily desirable for their business.

In these rapidly changing times, a regular dialogue with the client is the key to ensuring that any advice given is up to date.

Speak to Simon Mott-Cowan for advice and support for your business during Covid-19.

Key contacts

Ross Fabian HW Fisher

Ross Fabian
Partner - Audit

020 7874 7986
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Navin Thaker HW Fisher

Navin Thaker
Partner - Audit

020 7874 7958
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Simon Mott-Cowan HW Fisher

Simon Mott-Cowan
Partner

020 7874 7962
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