The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has today issued advice to small businesses as the threat of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 increases.
The not-for-profit business organisation has launched a special corona virus hub site offering advice and guidance for businesses seeking to prepare for and recover faster from any disruption in the UK should the virus take hold.
The FSB’s North West Regional Chair, Chris Manka said: “Small businesses contribute billions to the UK economy and are a major source of employment, so they need to be ready and prepared for a coronavirus lockdown, and understand what that might mean. We know smaller firms can often lag behind bigger businesses when it comes to planning ahead, but now’s the time to start if they haven’t already by having a Plan A, B and C in place. As ever: better safe, than sorry.
He added: “We’re now seeing increased calls to our contact centre and our legal advice line about coronavirus, and the key message we are giving to members is simple – be prepared!
“Having a business continuity plan is a great place to start. FSB research suggests just one in three small businesses have one ready to go, but they are invaluable when it comes to recovering from a disaster, and evidence shows those firms that have a plan are back up and running quicker,” he added.
FSB is advising all businesses to check their insurance cover, including policy wording, to see what level of cover they have, and particularly whether it includes ‘business interruption’ cover, which covers income lost after a disaster.
Added Manka: “Business owners need to think about how their insurance will work if they are forced to close due to an outbreak of the virus. Standard policies may not include any protection if a business suffers due to an outbreak of disease, regardless of circumstance. They may want to think about upgrading their cover.
“For those that have business interruption cover, they will need to check whether it includes an extension for “notifiable diseases”. If you have this in your policy wording, you will need to reach out to your broker/insurer to confirm whether coronavirus is covered. For any business wanting some more information about how to mitigate a mass outbreak of coronavirus, they should definitely be visiting our hub for more practical advice and tips,” he added.