At Prestige Business Management, we understand that many businesses are unsure of what they should do in regard to the Coronavirus pandemic. This outbreak will have a major economic impact on the UK. It will also impact society in the short-term. This article is based on information from OECD, the NHS, and HM Government.
What started in Wuhan in China with the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has spread throughout the globe. It has infected hundreds of thousands of individuals and has killed thousands. The virus has resulted in national shutdowns across the world. According to the World Health Organisation, it is a real pandemic with nightmarish possibilities. But how can you make a mark with your small business?
The Economics of the Coronavirus Outbreak
The economic impact will be massive. Central banks are already reducing interest rates as a policy tool against the shock of recession. The OECD has called the Coronavirus the biggest danger to the global economy since the 2008 banking crisis. According to the OECD:
“Even in the best-case scenario of limited outbreaks in countries outside China, a sharp slowdown in world growth is expected in the first half of 2020 as supply chains and commodities are hit, tourism drops and confidence falters. Global economic growth is seen falling to 2.4% for the whole year, compared to an already weak 2.9 % in 2019. It is then expected to rise to a modest 3.3% in 2021.”
The impact will be felt hugely across the entire UK business community. So, SME’s are going to be impacted by this pandemic. The government is offering loan facilities to banks along with rate relief policy vehicles to help reduce impact. However, if this pandemic continues at its current pace and a major global recession occurs then in all likelihood companies will fold. Therefore, you need to know how you can help your business during this period.
What are the UK Government’s Plans?
In February the Government discussed “containment” policy ideas. However, the rapid increase in cases and the growing death rate has resulted in HM Government abandoning ‘containment’ and moving on to “delay”- based policy ideas – with public gatherings and other events suspended. Schools remain open but medium-term discussions are outlining full public containment with draconian public management orders. The UK’s Chief Medical Officer argues the pandemic is only at its infancy within the UK and that to plateau it could take months. This leads to fear about waves – if the example of the Spanish flu outbreak in the early twentieth century – is applied. The second wave saw a greater number of fatalities than the first initial wave. Therefore, there is a lot of uncertainty at the moment.
What the NHS Says
The NHS has released information on Coronavirus – with three main symptoms
1. A cough
2. Shortness of Breath
3. A High Temperature
However, as a caveat, these symptoms may not always indicate Coronavirus as it shares similarities with cold and flu symptoms.
They are asking people to do the following:
1. Wash your hands with soap and water as often as possible (for at least 20 seconds)
2. Wash your hands when you get home and into work
3. Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is unavailable
4. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve but not your hands when you cough or sneeze
5. Bin all tissues immediately and wash your bands
6. Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth.