Amethyst Surveys Limited is a company providing utility surveys and CCTV services. Turnover is approximately £1 million with 22 employees.
All employees except the senior management team have been furloughed due to the Coronavirus pandemic – no site work is being undertaken and existing jobs have been put on hold pending a reopening of sites. The company has made a furlough claim without any problems and received reimbursement. The plan is for staff to be slowly taken off furlough and brought back to work as survey activity restarts during May and June.
COVID-19 and Amethyst Surveys Limited Policy
The management team have all continued working and have been focusing on the key issues of cash preservation, chasing outstanding invoices and minimising all possible outgoings. They have also been in close contact with the company accountant and also a finance mentor. Regular conversations have been held with the finance mentor, reviewing a centrally held cash spreadsheet charting the daily cash flow position of the business.
The Amethyst Surveys Directors considered making a CBILS loan application but on the advice of their finance mentor did not proceed with this. The simplified bounce back loan scheme had more appealing terms and was a welcome addition to the Government support available to small businesses. The Company has successfully applied for the maximum £50,000 bounce back loan as well as taking advantage of the furlough scheme payments to cover the ongoing payroll costs.
Social distancing measures could have a large impact on the business – the survey teams usually work as a pair and the management team need to work out how this could work successfully with the correct social distancing measures in place. The re-opening of building sites will mean that revenue will start to pick up again but there are numerous challenges to overcome for employees to be safely attending sites again.
The impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic is likely to be far-reaching for many businesses. Amethyst Survey’s management team are conducting a review of the business and also making some strategic decisions around future operation of the business. Flexibility is going to be an important element in adapting to the post Covid-19 world. As for the long-term impact on the business, “it is too early to say at this stage.”