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12-03-2020, 19:45   #1
PickYourName
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Looking for options if sales collapse due to Coronavirus.

So far, my business is holding its own, despite many in the sector (hospitality) suffering very badly. With the latest announcement today, there’s a good chance our sales will collapse to almost zero next week. Due to a major investment last year, we have next to no cash reserves.

What are my options, in particular in relation to staff? I’m not so much looking for strategic advice, for which I’d have to share more information than I’d be comfortable with, but operational. If I just ask staff to take unpaid leave, presumably they won’t be able to claim social welfare, making things extremely difficult for them (and indeed for me, as I’m in the same situation). If I make them redundant, it will be difficult to get restarted in (hopefully) a few weeks’ time.

What are the options, and advantages and disadvantages of each?
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12-03-2020, 20:43   #2
roots2branches
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I don't have staff, just me but my sales have fallen off the cliff last two days as i'm in the entertainment industry and shows are cancelled.
My understanding is I can get some gov support if I get the virus, anyone know if there is any assistance to be had if I don't get the virus?

Last edited by roots2branches; 12-03-2020 at 22:11.
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12-03-2020, 20:45   #3
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Cut hours ? Staff could claim social welfare if hours are certain threshold
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12-03-2020, 20:48   #4
PickYourName
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Cut hours ? Staff could claim social welfare if hours are certain threshold
OK, that's interesting - I wasn't aware that was a possibility for them.
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12-03-2020, 20:53   #5
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Got to say for all the criticism of the UK government's response the things put in place in the budget yesterday are amazing for small businesses. Hopefully the Irish governemnt is going to put something together over there too. I had been hoping something would happen with rates wasn't expecting self employed sick pay and a grant being made available too.
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12-03-2020, 20:55   #6
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Just speaking with a friend of mine who is a childcare worker. She is off work for the next two weeks with no pay and must go to the social welfare office tomorrow to sign on for the time she is off.

The government announced details of assistance that employees who find themselves in such a situation can avail of. Obviously most will still be losing money as social welfare payments are around the €200 mark per week. It is still better than nothing though.
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12-03-2020, 20:56   #7
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Give the staff a heads up, there may be a delay in any social payments due to noone being there.
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12-03-2020, 21:02   #8
Jurgen Klopp
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If their hours are cut they can claim SW

Make sure you were to do in such a way their hours are based over 1 or 2 days only

For example I've had to cut Mary to 10 hours a week she does them all of a Monday only

Reason being if you were to work 1 hour a day for even 4 days a week they won't give feck all. Absolute joke but that's how they are set up
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12-03-2020, 21:20   #9
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Forms UP14 (social welfare) and RP9 (redundancy payments acts) are what you need to put full time employees on short time.

https://www.gov.ie/en/service/c20e1b...-work-support/

https://www.citizensinformation.ie/e...edundancy.html

Even if your employee is not eligible for Short Time Work Support they may be eligible for something else.

You need to think inaginatively about what you can offer, if anything with much reduced staffing and hours.

It is important to move quickly here to observe cash.

Communication with staff is very important. Take your time and plan out what you are going to say. Think out the different situations. Try to send staff to the Intreo office somewhat prepared even if you are not sure about what everything.
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12-03-2020, 22:06   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antoinolachtnai View Post
Forms UP14 (social welfare) and RP9 (redundancy payments acts) are what you need to put full time employees on short time.

https://www.gov.ie/en/service/c20e1b...-work-support/

https://www.citizensinformation.ie/e...edundancy.html

Even if your employee is not eligible for Short Time Work Support they may be eligible for something else.

You need to think inaginatively about what you can offer, if anything with much reduced staffing and hours.

It is important to move quickly here to observe cash.

Communication with staff is very important. Take your time and plan out what you are going to say. Think out the different situations. Try to send staff to the Intreo office somewhat prepared even if you are not sure about what everything.

That's all very helpful, and much appreciated. Thanks!

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12-03-2020, 22:09   #11
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Some will need to get a loan to get by, see it as an investment, maybe spend some money on business in process too.
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13-03-2020, 08:59   #12
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Some will need to get a loan to get by, see it as an investment, maybe spend some money on business in process too.
You will need to get creative to figure out how to prop up your cash flow. If you don’t have an established lending relationship with your bank it is going to be difficult to start one now.

But there are options. You really have to look hard at your list of suppliers and creditors to see what can be done.

Please do not delay. This is here for two weeks, absolutely guaranteed. Realistically it is going to stretch well into April and quite likely into May. It is unlikely to be a bumper summer either.

A well known hotel in Dublin 2 is said to have had no guests the night before last. Another very central one seemed to be down below 50 percent. Notices being issued all over the place.

I am not trying to talk down the economy here. Other hospitality type businesses I know will trade on at reduced capacity and you should do that if you can.

Take the steps you need to take, right away.

One other note. This is not the time for a structural reform of your organization. This is a time to support everybody, emotionally and financially as best you can. It is not the time to cut people off.

If you need to restructure, or get rid of that supervisor who isn’t performing or the cashier who is robbing you or whatever, do it, but not now. It’s just not the time.

Last edited by antoinolachtnai; 13-03-2020 at 09:08.
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13-03-2020, 21:45   #13
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Look at all expenditure

Stop anything that is unnecessary. Eg, pension payments, rates, tslk to landlord, bank loans (banks will give payment holiday)

If very tight hold off vat payments - revenue have stated that no penalties will apply and just a call from your accountant is needed.

Staff, temporary layoffs, maybe if they are important you can assist them with a top up
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14-03-2020, 02:05   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antoinolachtnai View Post
A well known hotel in Dublin 2 is said to have had no guests the night before last. Another very central one seemed to be down below 50 percent. Notices being issued all over the place.
I'm aware we're far from the worst. It may or may not be the same hotel, but from a direct source I heard that one very well known Dublin 2 hotel has just closed off the three uppermost floors (heating off etc.), forward bookings are close to zero and occupancy well under 50% (at Patrick's week-end!).

Plenty of good advice, by the way and much appreciated.

We met with staff today, to keep them informed. I tried to set up a meeting with the bank when I was in the branch, and was eventually given an 1850 number to ring: the days of building a personal relationship with the bank are obviously long gone. We do have an existing lending relationship with them, by the way. I plan to call Revenue on Monday: I've always found them very reasonable to deal with before, so am reasonably hopeful.

I’d agree it’s a time to pull together: we’re shifting as much as we can from larger to smaller suppliers. It’s only a gesture at our volumes, but it all helps. I’ve heard that the one we’re shifting to has seen a drop of 50% in business; judging by the queues at SuperValu, Musgraves won’t miss the business involved.

Personally, I think it’s going to be devastating to the economy: anything related to tourism in particular, which is a good chunk of the overall economy, is going to be hammered. I know it’s only temporary and economists blithely assert the economy will bounce back, but there will be a lot of damage in the meantime.

Sorry to rant on spreading depression – definitely not my usual demeaner – but it’s very hard to watch it unfold. We've incredible staff and they're very understanding, but so hard to stand in front of them saying what I did today.
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14-03-2020, 02:23   #15
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Not sure if your customers are businesses or consumers but invoice factoring could be an option or using them as collateral for a loan. I know BoI Finance used to offer this to SMEs.

If customers are due refunds, can you offer credit or alternatively explain the situation via email and see if customers will voluntarily defer refunds as a gesture of goodwill. It's a sunk cost to customers so they might play ball in the spirit of 'pulling together' especially if they are irish. Maybe whatever you were selling could be delivered at a later date with an additional 'bonus' for those who dont demand cash refunds. For example, if someone booked a tour, could you upgrade it? Just trying to think outside the box there but difficult when we dont know the specifics. Hopefully that's given you food for thought.

Also, dont be tempted by loan sharks who will no doubt be preying on weakened businesses in the coming months.
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