Everything small business owners need to know about coronavirus

Everything small business owners need to know about coronavirus
Emma Jones
Emma JonesFounderEnterprise Nation

Posted: Tue 3rd Mar 2020

This article points to official notices and guides relating to how COVID-19 might have an impact on your business.

We'll keep updating this article as the situation develops.

How do I keep updated on developments?

Public Health England is offering regular updates on COVID-19. It includes the risk level - the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the UK from low to moderate - and details of how returning travel is being dealt with.

Notably, on the 5th of March the government classed COVID-19 as a notifiable disease. This has an impact on insurance policies and claims.

What are my obligations as an employer for statutory sick pay?

The Prime Minister announced on the 4th of March that Statutory Sick Pay needs to be made available from day one when self-isolating, instead of day four.

Are there any precautions I should be taking at work?

Ensure surfaces remain clean and that rubbish is regularly disposed of. The Health and Safety Executive offers details on how to keep your workplace healthy and as risk-free as possible. If you operate from a co-working space, ask your operator for guidance on actions being taken.

What do I do if an employee or a member of the public becomes unwell and believes they have been exposed to COVID-19?

Read the government guidance, which advises on an appropriate response.

Consider solutions such as Equipsme, which enable you to offer immediate access to a GP for your employees. Equipsme provides this guide on the virus, which you can share with employees.

I have an upcoming business trip - will my insurance be valid if I'm affected by COVID-19?

Read the guidance from the Association of British Insurers on travel insurance and your position on claims.

I have to cancel an event due to COVID-19 - will I be insured against this?

There is a useful article on this issue here. It explains that the answer depends on the wording in your insurance policies and the implications if England classes COVID-19 as a notifiable disease, which happened on the 5th of March.

If my business is losing money or contracts, can I make an insurance claim?

This depends on the wording in your insurance policy. COVID-19 being classed as a notifiable disease on the 5th of March has a big impact. Contact your insurance company for further details.

I have a temporary issue with cashflow due to COVID-19. What can I do?

Speak to your accountant and your suppliers. Also, look at sources of cashflow funding such as MarketFinance and IWOCA.

Email with any questions you have on this topic and we will aim to get them answered.

Emma Jones
Emma JonesFounderEnterprise Nation
Following a degree in Law and Japanese, Emma joined international accounting firm Arthur Andersen, where she worked in London, Leeds and Manchester offices and set up the firm's Inward Investment practice that attracted overseas companies to locate in the UK. In 2000, bitten by the bug, Emma left the firm to start her first business, Techlocate. After 15 months, the company was successfully sold to Tenon plc. The experience of starting, growing and selling a business from a home base gave Emma the idea for Enterprise Nation which was launched in 2006 as the home business website. The company has since expanded to become a small business membership community of over 75,000 people who benefit from events and support: online and in person. Enterprise Nation also presents a campaigning voice to government and the media on behalf of its members. In 2021, Emma was awarded a CBE for services to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

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