Most pundits agree that the growing disruption posed by the Coronavirus outbreak combined with continuing Brexit uncertainty – exactly what will our trading relationship with the EU be from January 2021 – are likely to have a dampening effect on demand and supply; a combination that will lead to a slow-down in global economic activity.
It is doubtful that Budget announcements this week will do much to quell the anxieties of small business owners.
There are concerns about the cost of meeting sick-pay obligations as increasing numbers of employees self-isolate in response to government advice to contain the spread of the virus.
Will business owners be offered more time to pay their taxes?
As the outbreak in the UK is at an early stage expect a staged approach to business support. It is feasible that the government will have to print money – so-called quantitative easing – to cover the funding support required by the UK business community. This is the method used during the banking crisis of 2008 when the banks were the recipients of government’s largesse.
Without a doubt, on its own the Coronavirus poses a significant challenge for all of us and in particular the survival of vast number of a small and medium sized business in the UK, the backbone and engine room of our UK economy.
Fingers crossed that Rishi Sunak and his Treasury advisors come up with adequate support this week. Watch this space for our budget summaries to be published later this week.