The coronavirus (COVID-19) first appeared in China at the end of 2019. Since then it has spread to almost every corner of the earth, causing more than 200,000 deaths and infecting over three million people.
Countries across the globe have implemented partial or complete lockdowns, in some cases closing all but essential businesses and services. It has changed the very nature of how businesses and individuals work, travel, communicate and socialise, buy and sell goods and educate children.
Small businesses have had to adapt rapidly to comply with the restrictions, keep employees safe and respond to new ways of doing business.
To minimise the impact of the lock down the UK Government has announced a wide range of measures to ease the impact on businesses, the self-employed, sole traders and individuals. This includes grants and loans, a scheme which allows businesses to furlough staff and a range of business rate reliefs. Businesses and individuals have also been given extra time to pay tax liabilities.