Can we afford to return to “busy-ness” as usual?

Lorry drivers on tight schedules. Pet owners demanding more from their vets. Sales and service staff working from home with little access to office support. Archaeologists staying in hotels as a way of life. Hospitality staff working longer than contracted hours to make ends meet. Short-term contracts restricting access to finance. Ex-Army personnel with PTSD… Read more

Bouncing back from the Covid-19 crisis: reflections on mental health and resilience

Bouncing back from the Covid-19 crisis: reflections on mental health and resilience Firms that survive adversity often have the abilities, characteristics and actions of their employees to thank. As many reflected during Mental Health Awareness Week last week, it is worth remembering that the current crisis will undoubtedly have impacted upon the mental health of… Read more

Is small lending too big to fail? Covid-19 and P2P lending to SMEs

Over the last decade, the landscape of SME finance has changed dramatically. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, while traditional bank lending experienced a sluggish recovery, a new model of online marketplace (P2P) business lending emerged. Funding Circle, started in 2010, was the world’s first P2P platform to fund business loans and seemed to… Read more

Left in the cold: How company directors are excluded from the Government’s coronavirus support schemes

The Government’s various coronavirus support schemes aim to provide a safety net for both employees and the self-employed during the suddenly-imposed ‘lockdown’ period now affecting the UK economy. But while the headline measures announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak over recent weeks – including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) aimed at employees, Coronavirus Business Interruption… Read more

London firms lead other European cities in crisis planning

Earlier this week a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies highlighted the vulnerability of different groups of the population to unemployment following the current crisis. Businesses also vary in terms of their crisis planning and resilience, and research has shown that SMEs are less likely to connect risk identification and business planning activities, which… Read more

Covid-19 and the implications for future innovation

Over the last few days we have seen some inspiring and innovative responses to the Corona Virus crisis by UK firms and universities. The JCB-Dyson collaboration to produce ventilators and the UCL-Mercedes AMG collaboration to develop other breathing aids are outstanding examples. Necessity is the mother of invention after all. But what of the wider… Read more

The duration of the economic restrictions is decisive for the German Mittelstand

As in the UK, significant parts of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Germany are affected by the corona virus pandemic. In this difficult economic situation, the Federal Government in Germany has sent a very positive signal with its comprehensive support measures targeted not only at large corporations, but also at medium-sized, small and micro… Read more

Sunak’s self-employed support is welcome – but here’s five ways to improve it

After a wait that felt like an eternity, self-employed people finally got some clarity yesterday (March 26th) on how the Government intends to support them during the coronavirus pandemic. Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was more generous than many expected. The headline is that self-employed people will be able to claim… Read more