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Coronavirus: Free advice for UK operators concerned about the future of their business

By Tom Walker    20 Mar 2020
Williams said the best course of action was to 'press pause and not make any knee-jerk decisions' / QuikSwitch

ukactive’s new strategic partner, QuikSwitch, has urged gym operators concerned about the impact of coronavirus on their business not to make any immediate decisions to pursue insolvency.

Speaking to Health Club Management, QuikSwitch co-founder Darren Williams said: “I’m reading a lot in the media about companies considering liquidation, with many seeing this as their only option to tackle the current business crisis.

“While we are in extremely uncertain times, our insolvency experts recommend that the best thing for all stakeholders is, in fact, to press pause and not make any knee-jerk decisions.

“We are all waiting to see exactly what steps the government will take to remove pressure points on businesses. In the meantime, there is a series of protection and recovery measures that operators can put in place, all of which we can help with.

“QuikSwitch has put together a COVID-19 support group – a panel of experts in fields such as accountancy, insurance and employment law – who are on-hand to speak to any operators with concerns they would like to discuss. This advice will be largely free, with further support available by agreement.

“As an immediate action, as at 12 noon today (Friday 20 March), there are still opportunities to protect income through Business Interruption Insurance and Income Protection policies. This is an incredibly fluid situation and these policies won’t be around forever.

"They are also, understandably, getting more expensive. However – in this small window where we may still be able to secure them – they may be of interest to owner-operators through to personal trainers. Our panel has access to the latest information on these policies.

“Second, we would encourage all operators to get themselves into the best possible position to move forward from this crisis. Our brokers and aggregators believe it will be a buyer’s market in the short-term, which could mean considerable savings on everything from gas and electricity to merchant services and broadband; we believe all contracts up for renewal could be bettered in this current climate.

“If you have any contract renewal dates between now and March 2021, we can help you lock in favourable prices now. Now is the time to take stock of your fixed costs, so you can emerge from this crisis even stronger than before.

“Third, although we are still awaiting full details, the government has indicated that loans and grants will be made available to help UK businesses weather this storm. As soon as we have more clarity on these, our COVID-19 support group will be able to assess your eligibility for this funding and, where appropriate, guide you through the process.”

Adie Meyer, UK sales manager at QuikSwitch, added: “QuikSwitch was set up as a one-stop-shop to save operators money. Across our portfolio of 27 expenditure lines – from utilities to telephony, card payments to waste management, tax planning to asset-based lending – we have been able to present operators with an average saving of 11 per cent, all at no cost to them. This is a model to which QuikSwitch is committed.

“Now, in these unprecedented times, we want to go even further and offer additional support to businesses across the sector. QuikSwitch and its partners stand ready to offer free, no-obligation consultations in all of the aforementioned areas.

“Please feel free to contact us on [email protected] for further advice, or for information on how to join our COVID-19 support group on LinkedIn. Given the extraordinary circumstances, we will be manning this account until 10.00 pm for the foreseeable future.”

QuikSwitch  ukactive  COVID-19 
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