18 May 2021
With step three of England’s roadmap out of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in full swing, the business community is looking ahead with a sense of anticipation (and slight apprehension) to 21 June. Read on for a summary of what to expect and how securing the right business finance could help you to prepare for growth.
On 17 May 2021 the Rule of Six was extended to indoor spaces.
Domestic overnight stays with a group of six (or more, as long as the group comprises two households) are permitted, and the same goes for meeting in people’s homes. Groups of up to 30 are allowed outdoors.
Here’s what the new rules mean for businesses operating in some of the UK’s most affected sectors.
Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues can begin serving groups of up to six indoors again (and groups of no more than 30 outside). The “table service only” rule still applies and business owners must follow Covid safety guidelines.
Up to 30 people are now able to attend weddings, receptions, funerals and wakes, and other important life events such as christenings and bar mitzvahs.
Indoor cinemas, theatres and bingo halls are permitted to reopen as long as they have social distancing measures in place. In terms of larger events, indoor venues will be capped at 1,000 attendees or 50 per cent –whichever is fewer.
Up to 4,000 people are allowed to attend outdoor standing events or the equivalent of 50 per cent of the venue’s capacity. Outdoor seated events like football matches can resume at 10,000 or 25 per cent capacity.
Domestic holidays were permitted from 12 April for people from within the same household, however since 17 May the sector has been allowed to open even further with the Rule of Six in place.
International tourism has also resumed under the Government’s traffic light system. So far, Portugal is the only major short-haul destination on the “green list”. More could be added in the short term though.
Organised indoor sports for adults (tennis, badminton, etc.) and some indoor exercise classes, such as yoga, spin and zumba, are also back on the agenda.
BUSINESS FUNDING FOR GROWTH – APPLY NOW
As long as everything goes to plan, step four (the final step) will enable businesses to fully resume trading with no restrictions.
The current plan is to lift “all legal limits on social contact” on 21 June, meaning there will be no restrictions on how many people you can meet inside or outside. Some social distancing measures could still remain, such as the wearing of masks in public areas.
As well as spelling good news for the overall economy, it will benefit hospitality, leisure, arts and entertainment and tourism in particular.
All being well, weddings and other life events will be able to go ahead without limits on guest lists. Music venues and nightclubs will also be allowed to reopen and restrictions on capacity at larger events will be lifted.
According to the Government:
“This will be subject to the results of a scientific events research programme to test the outcome of certain pilot events through the spring and summer, where we will trial the use of testing and other techniques to cut the risk of infection.”
The Government has four tests that must be passed before each stage of the roadmap out of lockdown restrictions can go ahead. These include:
✔️ The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
✔️ Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
✔️ Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
✔️ Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern
Lots of businesses, including SMEs and startups, are in the process of hiring new staff to meet the sudden uptick in demand for their products and services. Others have been growing throughout the pandemic.
Take the food and drink sector, for instance.
A record number of new businesses were started in the food and drink sector in 2020, according to The Accountancy Partnership. Of the 2,200+ startups that were founded, a quarter said they’ll be hiring one or more employees as their business grows in the coming months and years.
Many business owners and entrepreneurs are also looking to secure funding ahead of the June reopening. If you’re one of them, you can use business finance to fund a range of business activities, including:
Boosting cash flow
Hiring new staff
Refurbishing or expanding existing premises
Investing in new premises
Buying more stock
Purchasing an “asset” (e.g. coffee machine or vehicles for your fleet)
You can use a business term loan to fund your expansion plans or to improve your company’s cash flow. You can expect to pay the same amount back each month for the duration of the loan term (e.g. 2 years), plus any interest and fees.
A bridge loan (or bridging loan) is a short-term loan that enables you to cover a business cost until you can pay it off or secure a longer-term type of finance. Find out about how a business owner in London used a bridge loan to improve cash flow disruption here.
Growing businesses often need to purchase new equipment – whether it's a fridge for their commercial kitchen or a new car for their delivery fleet – but lack the funds to be able to do so outright. Asset finance takes the weight off by enabling you to spread the payments over a longer period of time.
Property finance is an umbrella term for finance that helps business owners buy, renovate, refurbish or extend property. Commercial mortgages, property development finance, auction finance and bridging finance all fall under this category.
Investing in a premises
Thinking of investing in new premises? Property finance could help.
The above list finance types is by no means definitive – there are dozens of options out there. At Funding Options, we help business owners get the right finance in place, so they can trade, plan and grow with confidence.
Use our platform to see what you could be eligible for today, based on your goals and circumstances.
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