Yorkshire Bank pledges ‘customers are not alone in this fight’

Yorkshire Bank are here to support and offer a range of solutions, as well as advice and a friendly earYorkshire Bank are here to support and offer a range of solutions, as well as advice and a friendly ear
Yorkshire Bank are here to support and offer a range of solutions, as well as advice and a friendly ear
So far, so much the same in 2021 – but how can businesses handle what this year holds in store?

Prioritising strategic business planning and remaining adaptable continue to be crucial to future success, writes Gavin Opperman, Group Business Director for Yorkshire Bank.

It’s been a strange start to 2021 – although as we have begun another year with a third lockdown now firmly in place, it all feels like déjà vu.

But, with a degree of positivity, I would argue that much has changed from the first time we were told to stay at home. Vaccines are now being rolled out and we are better prepared for a lockdown situation, with financial support packages already in place for businesses across the UK. We have also now left the EU. With a deal no less. A massive milestone that provides more certainty after four years of negotiations.

So, what’s next? 2021 will not be easy and for many businesses, with staff still working at home or on furlough, the turn of the year hasn’t brought any less worry.

Uncertainty in business is all too common. As one issue resolves, there is always another one ready to take its place. If we had started 2020 suggesting something would top Brexit, we would have scoffed and said anything other than leaving the EU would have been too much to cope with. How little we knew.

The key consideration is how much this uncertainty impacts on a business.

How can companies be successful when faced with regular obstacles and how can we use these behaviours in our work?

Many business owners would argue that uncertainty can create opportunity, with many difficult circumstances successfully navigated in the recent past.

The pace of change and the new challenges business owners will face will remain unrelenting certainly in the immediate post-Brexit and Covid-19 landscape, so prioritising strategic business planning and remaining adaptable will continue to be crucial to future success.

Strategic planning (with regular review) will allow businesses to stay ahead of uncertainty, identifying and mitigating new and emerging risks. These risks can come in various forms and include changes to manpower or skilled labour, rapid acceleration of digitisation / automation, the unknown and changes to the supply chain or the volatility in foreign exchange impacting your cashflow position.

It’s also vital that businesses are regularly talking to their banking providers, especially throughout this pandemic. Our relationship managers have been checking in with our customers regularly, offering whatever support we can.

At Yorkshire Bank, our customers are not alone in this fight. We are here to support and offer a range of solutions, as well as advice and a friendly ear.

Earlier this month, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a further £4.6bn in one-off grants for businesses. This is in addition to the support already available with loan options available for new applications until the end of March.

These include the CBILS, Future Fund, BBLS and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme. In addition, your bankers may offer additional overdrafts or payment holidays on existing debt to support your working capital requirements during this period.

Our advice is to talk to your existing relationship manager to discuss the best combination of financial support available to your business.

Other support includes Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, a number of monthly grants offered to businesses during national or local lockdown situations, Additional Restrictions Grants and business rate relief, which allows businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England to not pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. In addition, HMRC offer partial VAT deferral and structured payment plans for Tax Liabilities to support cashflow positions. Your professional advisor can help you navigate what is available to you or simply go to www.gov.uk for further details.

Although more difficult decisions will still need to be made and future strategies replanned, the vaccine programme is underway, which is a good start to the New Year.

As part of your 2021 to-do list, I would encourage readers to keep in touch with their bank and potentially look again at the options available to your business for the months ahead.

I wish you all the best for 2021.

To find out more and to speak to a local relationship manager, visit https://secure.ybonline.co.uk/business/