Coronavirus means huge challenges ahead for small business owners and SMEs

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By Jacqueline O'Donovan, managing director at O'Donovan Waste Disposal

As the Coronavirus is escalated to the pandemic phase, we need to stand resolute as a company to give as much stability as we can to our staff and their families.

We are having to adjust our ways of working and living in order to minimise the impact on society and delay the onset of the virus. Leaving aside the effect these necessary measures will have on individuals and families, there are key questions that, as business owners, are on everyone’s minds.

After just starting to emerge from three years of uncertainty due to Brexit, we find ourselves in further unchartered waters in terms of what we are facing and there is no way to tell what lies ahead. We have been promised huge support from the Government and even more has been announced since the recent budget.

All small and medium businesses should make the most of what is available from the Government including tax deferrals and claiming back SSP if staff are having to take time off due to coronavirus. Banks have made noises already that they are there to support and this help should also be taken full advantage of. 

Being a supplier to the construction and demolition industry, we feel it is imperative that we take all the necessary precautions with our staff, in our offices, depots and on the road. To date we have maintained a full workforce following simple human distancing rules, using sanitisers and washing hands and improved general hygiene.

If individual companies take all the necessary precautions and implement effective business continuity plans, the hope is that business and in particular the construction sector can get through these challenging times and be in a position to bounce back swiftly once the storm passes.  

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