Keylink - Covid 19 Update
Posted: 19 Mar 2020
19th March 2020
“It’s just a flu… so WHY can’t I go out and see my friends??” So said my teenager to me at the beginning of the week... Well if it wasn’t before, it should now be crystal clear to all of us that Covid-19 is a very serious threat, not only to our health and wellbeing, but to our businesses, jobs and so much more of what we take for granted in our daily lives. Every new day seems to bring another dramatic escalation in the crisis, the latest being the closure of schools and cancellation of GCSEs and A-levels! I think we can all be forgiven for feeling just a little punch-drunk!
Unfortunately it seems inevitable that the situation will get worse before it gets better, but there are also plenty of reasons to be optimistic that by coming together, we will beat this virus. From the work being done by researchers around the world racing to develop vaccines and treatments, to the mobilisation of British industry to build ventilators, to the determination of the Government to “do whatever it takes” to support people and businesses, we can limit any long-term damage to our businesses, livelihoods and our way of life.
What’s Happening at Keylink?
I am happy to report that at this time, our business remains unaffected by the virus. Our overriding objectives remain to continue normal operation, whilst safeguarding the wellbeing of all our staff and in this, we are strictly following PHE’s guidance. If and when members of staff at Keylink start coming down with the virus, we have contingency plans in place to ensure that we will continue to operate with an uninterrupted service.
As for our own supply chains, we are not seeing any signs of any significant disruption to the availability or movement of goods as yet. This is mostly because the closure of borders that you may have heard about generally relates to the movement of people, not the movement of goods. That said, transport to and from certain countries such as Italy and Spain has been disrupted and we may well see this spread further afield; especially if there is a shortage of vehicles as drivers are struck down by the virus or just forced into self-isolation.
In summary however, you can rest assured that Keylink will be here whenever you need us!
What Support is Available to You from the Government?
(Based on information posted on gov.uk, updated on 18th March 2020)
The measures announced so far to help small businesses are as follows:
- a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
- a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
- small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
- grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance
- the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
All these measures taken together should provide significant relief for most businesses because they will allow businesses to continue to pay wages, overheads and suppliers. The Government’s intention is that banks should take the strain of disrupted cashflows, rather than businesses in the supply chain. Obviously this is just as critical for us as it is for you.
For information on grant funding, contact your Local Authority
For information on loan funding, contact your Bank
Is There More You Can Do to Keep Your Business Going?
All ‘front-line’ businesses – which includes chocolate shops, ice cream parlours, cafes, restaurants and hotels - are feeling the direct impact of a sudden, sharp fall in consumer spending, brought about by the Government’s strong advice earlier this week to stop going out unless absolutely necessary. Naturally this is also having a knock-on effect on suppliers right through the supply chain, including us.
But as I’m sure we all agree, everyone really should eat even more chocolate than ever, so the challenge is just how to get it to them! A number of our customers have adopted new and creative ways to keep their businesses going, including:
- start an ecommerce website if you don’t already have one and send orders out by post.
- offer local drop-offs direct to your customers’ front door. It’s working for the milkman, so why not you!
- showcase your products on established ecommerce platforms such as notonthehighstreet.com and yumbles.com
- advertise on any local community platforms, such as nextdoor.co.uk, or even encourage people to support their local small businesses on your own WhatsApp chat groups!
So in the interests of keeping the economy going… if you’re not already set up for mail order deliveries, take a look at our range of postal boxes and bar sleeves for ideas on how you can quickly and easily adapt your business to social distancing, at least temporarily! Our postal boxes are sized to fit all our rectangular and square, rigid and folding boxes from 6-choc up to 25-choc so you have plenty of choice.
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Since the situation continues to evolve extremely rapidly, we will continue to monitor events and government guidance very carefully and keep you informed of any significant developments that may concern you directly.
In the meantime, we wish you and your families good health and good luck. If you have any questions, or even if you’d just like to chat, please don’t hesitate to call any of us, including Julie or myself, and we’d be happy to help in any way we can.
With best wishes,
Sanjeev P Ramchandani