Are you ForgottenLtd?
On 13th March 2020, local consultancy Caterpillar Business Psychologists Ltd had to cancel work due to Covid19. A week later, along with hundreds of other businesses operating in South Powys, Caterpillar closed the doors and prepared to maintain social distancing. For a company totally dependent on connecting with business-people all over the UK, this was a blow to Director and business psychologist Kate Wharton, who supports clients such as the Premier League, HSBC and the NHS. The majority of paid work was suspended until further notice.
Volunteering during the crisis as a mental health practitioner for the NHS and adapting to using virtual delivery platforms, it has been a stressful 3 months. “I have been more fortunate than some of my friends in the same situation who have very small children at home and no chance of generating income, but it’s been very testing”.
Kate is now speaking up for 750,000 small business owners across the UK, who have to date, been shut out of government bailout packages. “Some are only just surviving on a very limited income since the beginning of March. As a psychologist, I am seeing first-hand the unnecessary mental strain this is putting on hard working business-people excluded from support through no fault of their own”.
Kate says she was hopeful that the wide-ranging coronavirus income support announced by the UK government would help people pull-through, but the government schemes have not adequately included directors of small companies. The Welsh Government grants, while generous, have strict criteria for grant eligibility. For the typical sole-trader operating as a limited company and working from home, this means being excluded. “Directors of small businesses get no sick or holiday-pay, so we are used to ensuring we have cash reserves for a rainy day, but this situation is unprecedented”
The campaign group #ForgottenLtd is lobbying the government, however, there is still no sign of directors of small limited companies being included in the income support measures.
If you are a small business owner affected by this, Kate would be interested to hear from you as part of her role as a volunteer for #ForgottenLtd in Wales. You can find ForgottenLtd’s page on facebook or Twitter and connect there to seek support and advice.