Herald - Issue 395

17th September 2020 • The HERALD • Page 55 v SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SPECIALISTS v Helen Sparks Mortgages & Financial Services Offering professional advice since 1985 Mortgages Residential Life Time Equity Release Buy to Let – first time landlords Property Portfolios Help to Buy Insurance Buildings & Contents Insurance Life Assurance Critical Illness Income Protection Private Medical Insurance YOUR PROPERTY MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS This firm usually charges a fee for mortgage advice. The amount of the fee will depend upon your circumstances and will be discussed and agreed with you at the earliest opportunity. Some forms of buy to let mortgage are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 023 8084 4108 helensparks@btconnect.com Helen Goodall T/A Helen Sparks Mortgages & Financial Services is an appointed representative of PRIMIS Mortgage Network, a trading name of First Complete Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority Xero Certified Advisors We can help with all Accountancy, Taxation and Payroll Matters for Sole Traders, Partnerships and Companies For a free initial meeting please call Tel: (023) 8084 4242 The Old School House, Claypits Lane, Dibden, Southampton SO45 5TN Email: dibden@numericaccounting.co.uk (FORMERLY STEPHENSON SHEPPARD & CO) ASK A PROFESSIONAL SMEs Unclear When C-19 Special Operational Arrangements Will End six months. “These figures underline the uncertainty business owners and employees alike are operating under,” said Neil. “And this is reflected in their predictions about future staffing levels – 39% will be returning with the same number and 9% are anticipating hiring more staff. On the more conservative side of the coin, 44% are planning to return with fewer people.” e full results of the latest survey are available for download on our free-to-use SME Data Hub at www. closeasset nance.co.uk/sme-data-hub For more news from Close Brothers Asset Finance, please visit www.closeasset nance.co.uk/industry- insights by Neil Davies CBAF CEO e COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to have far- reaching impacts for the UK’s SME (Small and Medium sized business) community, with at least three quarters experiencing a reduction in their cash ow, while a further 90% have had to put in place operational arrangements to allow them to keep trading, according to the latest independent research from Close Brothers Asset Finance. ose additional operational arrangements include working from home, staggered start times, alternate work days and enforced social distancing. “SMEs are struggling to predict just how long the impacts of the pandemic will be felt,” said Neil Davies, CEO, Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing. “But what’s clear is firms are – in the face of cashflow pressures – getting on with the job and doing what needs to be done to get back up and trading. Many are making use of government assistance, with around half of those surveyed saying they’ve made use of the furlough scheme, while a further 31% have already applied for a CBILS (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme) loan; interestingly, 52% said that while they knew about it, they didn’t feel it was currently required. A further 16% were on the fence about whether to apply.” Operational impact Four in ten rms have stated they’re ‘open as normal’ – contrasted against this gure is the 21% who are closed completely until lockdown ends. A further h’s workers are now home-based and 9% available for online consultations or meetings. “With numerous businesses able to operate from home, this, for many, has become the ‘new normal’, which likely explains why so many are ‘open as normal’,” said Neil. “We’ve seen this with our own business – despite the initial challenges, we’ve been able to continue to serve the needs of our customers, both existing and new.” Nearly all participating businesses expect operational arrangements to be in place for at least a few months, with 6% planning for the measures to be made permanent: Less than 1 month 4%; 1-3 months 21%; 4-6 months 31%; 7-9 months 13%; 10-12 months 10%; Longer than 12 months 9%; We expect the measures put in place to become permanent 6%; Don’t know 6%. ere are mixed views, about when rms expect to be fully operational again, with two thirds of the opinion it will be anything between three to Neil Davies CBAF CEO Services for people in Hampshire who are dependent on alcohol and drugs are continuing to o er support for new and existing clients via telephone and online contact during the coronavirus crisis. Inclusion Recovery Hampshire o ers free and con dential services for adults who are using or a ected by problems associated with alcohol and drugs, as well as for family or friends who may be worried about someone. You can ask for help using the online referral form or call 0300 124 0103. Face to face meetings and group sessions which play an important role in an individual’s recovery are continuing via a digital platform. e service is also working to make sure that those who need alcohol and drug services and their families are kept safe and supported whilst social distancing restrictions are in place. ere is also support available for anyone a ected by someone else’s alcohol or drug use through a 24 hour family and carer support line, call 023 8039 9764. Hampshire’s Alcohol And Drug Treatment Services