Any other optionI know the situation is tough. We are feeling it, too. PopUp Business School lost all its income overnight – £250,000 vanished. But we have always avoided debt and built up reserves in the business to take us through. Since the outbreak, we’ve been running Facebook Live events and hearing from business owners who have had to stop trading. And we’ve been coming up with alternative business models for them, and for us. We helped a lot of these people start up and, now, we are trying to keep them afloat. For you readers, what I would say to you all is do anything but go into debt. Use the Government benefits system, apply for grants and take support wherever you can. Now is not the time to be proud. Now is the time for us all to work together to find our way through this.
Government loan schemesThe Government has set up the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which aims to lend you up to £5m if you run a viable business. They are offering you debt to get through the hard times. You get one year interest-free, but you will then have to pay this debt back within six years. I’ve been unable to find out from the documentation how much the interest will be. The Government is also offering other schemes and grants, as well as protection of jobs for employees. I hope they will do more for small businesses. Take all of the free help and support that’s available and swallow your pride. We are all too aware that some businesses will not survive this crisis and many of us are going to see our personal finances weakened too. Perhaps, in a year’s time, business will be good, though I doubt we’ll ever go back to ‘business as usual’. But when the good times do resume, let’s all embrace them with as little debt as possible.
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