Aberdeen businesses must make cash king as new restrictions take hold

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ABERDEEN businesses must prioritise cash flow management as they review their plans amid the coronavirus second wave, according to accountancy firm Johnston Carmichael.

David Wilson, who was recently promoted to head of the firm’s Aberdeen office, said many of the city’s businesses had adapted well to the ongoing challenges of the pandemic but with England entering another national lockdown and Scotland facing ongoing uncertainty, he warned that business resilience planning has never been more important.

David, who is also audit partner at Johnston Carmichael, said: “Businesses must consider carefully, the impact of tightening restrictions on them and whether further economic uncertainty will create any potential funding challenges. In the current climate it’s not unthinkable that businesses could see demand change very quickly if they have to reduce or even cease trading as a result of lockdown measures. Conversely, some businesses may benefit, and experience increased demand for their products or service lines.

“Hospitality, leisure and high street retail continue to be most affected sectors in Aberdeen, but I am encouraged by some of the positive signs within the food and drink sector as well as resumption of deferred oil and gas maintenance and, surprisingly, the residential property market.

“Local businesses have shown fantastic flexibility following the city’s higher-level lockdown measures a few months ago. Management teams have worked hard to reduce outgoings, and maintain and implement new revenue streams, while taking advantage of the support available to them including payment deferrals, loans or government grants.

“It’s important that they continue to look in detail at the available options to help generate the cash needed to support their business through this time. Robust planning will also help to build a business that’s fit for the future and ready to take advantage of growth opportunities as the economy starts to recover.”

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