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Mr Paul Redmond outlines the financial support options available to GPs during the Covid-19 crisis
Covid-19 has affected all sectors of our lives. In particular, our economy and our financial lives have been impacted severely, with those within our public health service and our GP practices now on the frontline tackling the crisis.
Many busy GP practices who were used to regular sustainable income from private patients were suddenly affected by a nationwide lockdown and patients were unable to attend the practice for routine appointments. This may have impacted the cashflow.
GP practices would, pre-Covid-19, have enjoyed healthy cashflows and profits each year and accessing funding was never needed or considered. With this unexpected drop in income:
The Government has implemented financial supports to assist GPs during this crisis with a view to being able to keep their practices open, staff employed, and cashflow managed.
How to decide if finance is required?
Speak to your accountant and work on a cashflow plan. Be flexible and open minded to changing your existing habits and procedures; new ones may be needed to guide you through this crisis. Your accounts may show a decrease in revenue that is needed to continue to practice. It may show that a short-term finance option is needed to get through.
Who do I contact?
There are a multitude of websites and social media articles highlighting these options. However, these can be overwhelming and contradictory. Keep it simple. Research official Government websites, citizens advice, and official bank websites or your own accountant. Try to avoid overloading yourself with information.
First stop should be your own bank where you are a valued customer. They have relationship managers available who have likely been in contact already. They have updated all their websites with specific Covid-19 helplines and have measures in place to assist.
Supports available are as follows
All these supports are available readily and statistics released by the Government on 22 July 2020 show the exact amount of these funds already paid to date. These are unprecedented times and regardless of your financial situation pre-Covid-19, every sector of the economy has been impacted negatively.
Apply for the supports and remember, if any borrowings are not used, they can be returned to the lender, often without penalties. If you wish to receive further information on any item within the article, contact your accountant or financial advisor.
Mr Paul Redmond (CPA,QFA, FAIA) is Managing Partner of RDA Accountants Limited. He is a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is also a Fellow of the Association of International Accountants and a qualified financial advisor
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