LONDON, July 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- After the most challenging hundred days in recent memory, Jon Cooper, a Director of CooperFaure Accountants, reflects on the landscape for businesses as we come out of lockdown. "Given the almost daily dose of grim economic news, it may seem counter intuitive to introduce a note of optimism but at CooperFaure we are sensing that 2020 could be a boom year for start up businesses.
"The outlook for the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, in particular, remains precarious at best. However, many businesses have turned the challenge of lockdown into the chance to redefine their product. My gym is running classes on WhatsApp and Facebook, my wine school is curating online wine tastings on Zoom attracting wine growers from across the world and my business coach is securing world class speakers for online seminars.
"Having an omni-channel model that is not defined or constrained by a physical or geographical location will ultimately make these businesses stronger. Nevertheless, as we take first tentative steps out of lockdown, it is clear that, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are on the precipice of an economic tsunami.
"The reality is that for many of the 9m employees currently on furlough, it is a stay of execution with redundancy beckoning.
"On another level, furlough can be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Most of us have a side hustle, something that we do outside work that we secretly dream we could turn into a business or an income. For me, it is writing about wine and wine travel.
"Furlough is providing that glorious commodity of time. Time for people to turn their side hustle into a viable business model. Time to enrol in online courses and webinars to build skill sets. Time to take the business to a launch-ready state.
"One of the reasons that the United Kingdom was less severely impacted by the 2008 recession than our European neighbours is the ease to set up a business. Twelve years on, it is even easier with online channels making it possible for someone to incorporate a Limited Company, open a bank account and be trading in a week. All for the incorporation fee of £12.00.
"There is some evidence from the United States that this is a direction of traffic. In the last week of May, official figures show that 67,160 applications were filed to set up new companies. This was a 21% increase on the equivalent period in 2019.
"For a new business to bloom, it requires nurture and support. Some of this should be driven by government. For instance, we would urge them to consider a targeted Business Start-Up Loan Scheme to run on the same terms on Bounce Back Loan Scheme.
"Our economic future is not the sole responsibility of government. Some of the onus rests at community, team and individual levels. It should be remembered that an albeit small group of business sectors are thriving and, dare I say it, the accountancy sector is one.
"At CooperFaure, we take our social responsibility to heart. We have provided and will continue to provide a wealth of COVID-19 content and support a no charge to customers and non-customers alike. For those customers severely impacted, we have either reduced or waived our fees.
"However, as the new world order beckons, we recognise that this is not enough. From next week, we will be rolling out a series of programmes.
"From Monday through to the end of September, we will open access on our website to a free half hour call or Zoom under our Business Revival channel. We would be delighted to speak with established businesses or those looking to start up and there is absolutely no obligation.
"At the end of the month we will be launching a new collaborative product offering to support new businesses born out of COVID-19 redundancy and we are working with a cohort to provide a pitch room for businesses seeking investment.
"In our view, it is beholden on those of us with either time, expertise or money to provide any support we can to guide the economy back to prosperity," Jon Cooper concluded.
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SOURCE CooperFaure Accountants