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17 March 2020

Coronavirus Update from FPM at 7pm on 17th March 2020

We write with an update further to our previous COVID-19 client briefing on 12th March 2020, which included specific guidelines for Ireland and Northern Ireland – Found Here

As we move through this very difficult time, the preservation of cash and managing cashflow will be critical to survival and positioning ourselves to be stronger and more agile businesses going forward, but we MUST get there.

We are conscious that the situation is evolving, as highlighted by the UK Chancellor’s Statement at 5pm today, however businesses must demonstrate agility and pro-active measures which businesses can take on the island of Ireland and we will endeavour to keep you briefed on changes as they arise.

We know a number of our clients are currently due to pay taxes at this time of year, be it quarterly or bi-monthly VAT, Corporation tax, or monthly PAYE taxes.  FPM are advising our clients to pause and develop a funding plan which could include the deferral of these payments within a wider robust business continuation plan that is aimed at preserving cashflow and your business.

FPM suggest the following strategies below for business owners to immediately implement in order to mitigate against a sustained impact on profitability which will lead to a liquidity crisis.

The time to act is now! This will be critical to the survival of businesses, says Feargal McCormack, FPM

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1. Cash is King

Before you think about strategic changes, you need to make sure the business will survive to see those any plans through.

Stay focused! Only cash matters in the short term – anything else is a distraction.

2. Forecast your cash flow

Prepare a monthly cash flow for 12 months incorporating an emergency 3 month forecast to estimate how much cash you’ll need in the short term.  Keep it simple and be prudent in terms of sales.  This will help your business to:

  • identify its immediate financial priorities; and
  • focus on identifying short term quick “wins” through reducing costs and cutting unnecessary expenses.

It is critical that the company, on the back of this cash flow exercise, implements quick, rapid and timely measures to free up cash flow and stop the hemorrhaging of cash.

3. Ask for help

Once you have a realistic idea of your cash requirement, there are a few obvious places for you to look for help:

Northern Ireland:
  • HMRC Tax helpline Here
  • Help with business rates Here
  • Supports that are available
  • Advice for Employers and Business
  • Latest Updates

Revenue Commissioners

  • For advice and funding plans Here

Employers & Employees

  • Employers Refund scheme for retaining staff & employee income supports
  • Employers and Self Employed advice
  • Applying for Illness benefits Here
  • Useful support helplines for Social Welfare

Business Funding

  • Enterprise Ireland, SBCI & Department of Social Protection Here
  • SME Credit Guarantee Scheme funding
  • Microfinance Ireland €5-€50k loans
  • Failte Ireland – Details of supports will appear here in the coming days – click to keep up to date

Business response plans

  • Enterprise Ireland Business Response Plan
  • Department Business Enterprise and Innovation Business Continuity Planning
Bank / lender:

Speak to your current funder. Ask them for a payment holiday / rescheduling of your repayments or a temporary increase in your overdraft / working capital facility. Various lenders are open to cashflow assistance given the current situation.

Suppliers / landlords:

Speak to your creditors, particularly the more significant ones. Be upfront with them – they’re much more likely to co-operate if you ask them for help rather than just unilaterally delay payments.


You’ve got to communicate with your customers (past and current) -assure them and reassure them about business as usual. Tell them -what you’re doing, how you’re achieving your service/product delivery (if any delays) etc.  Also communicate with your social media networks, your suppliers and other stakeholders.

Refinance / raise additional cash:

There have never been more options for businesses looking to borrow than there are today. You may have been with your existing lender for many years, but there could be someone out there who can better support you at the moment and you shouldn’t rule out this option.

These are measures that you can implement yourself and we appreciate some of these measures may initially seem overwhelming – coming up with a coherent plan and ‘selling’ it to your creditors may feel outside of your natural comfort zone – we have no doubt that this can be done.

FPM have helped countless clients to navigate cash flow issues – sometimes a coordinated plan, fronted by professionals, has a better chance of being accepted than a more ad-hoc approach.  FPM can also assist with other, longer term measures that might be relevant, such as phasing payments to creditors over a number of years or reassessing resourcing requirements.


The time to act is now, develop a cash flow, build a plan, and then apply for appropriate funding packages with these and other measures built in.  This will be critical to the survival of the businesses.

The primary objective of this document is to empower our clients, if they choose to help themselves initially; however we at FPM are more than willing to assist our clients in the current COVID- 19 emergency.

Due to the seriousness of the COVID-19 situation for businesses, we have mobilised a team to assist and support our clients.  If you need any help please feel free to get in touch with any of our senior management team by email or mobile telephone.

It is our intention to provide regular COVID-19 updates as the situation evolves.

Keep safe, take care of yourselves, your team and family, in these very challenging times.

Contact Feargal

Feargal McCormack / Managing Director

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