The BDA survey published in the Sunday Times this week made bleak reading for the profession; with one in five dentists saying that they would run out of cash by the end of April 2020, and a huge 71.5% of the profession stating that they would not be able to remain “financially sustainable” for a period of more than three months.
It appears that both private and mixed dental practices have been caught in a perfect storm. For mixed practices there has been a lack of clarity as to the support that they may access if they wish to continue to access NHS funding – Preparedness Letter Four is still awaited. For private practices, there has been a catastrophic loss of income, with no visibility as to how and when they may open again.
What support are dental practices eligible for?
There are schemes available for practice owners such as:
- Cash – through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS);
- People – Furloughing of employees;
- Property – Rent payments – The Coronavirus Act restricts the ability for landlords to forfeit commercial leases for non-payment of rent; and
- Compensation – Insurance – Claiming through practice insurance policies for business interruption.
However, there are questions on how some of the above relief cuts across the relief available to practice owners through the NHS schemes. For example, in respect of furloughing of staff, the dental profession is still awaiting clarification on how they will receive NHS revenue if staff are furloughed and the nuances and questions highlighted in the Letter of Preparedness: Issue 3 (see here) which will be confirmed in the upcoming NHS Letter of Preparedness: Issue 4.
What can I do if I need financial support for my business now?
Taking all of this into account, it may be surprising that only 26% of the profession has attempted to secure a government backed loan via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS); the BDA has stated that they are pressing the government to simplify and extend the ambit of the scheme to encourage uptake by the profession. Whilst we are unable to assist with the expansion of the scheme, we are helping clients with their applications. We’ve brought together legal and financial professionals to offer a ‘one stop shop service’ for practitioners making applications. Read more about our CBILS & CLBILS Assist service which means that your application is submitted within four days of kick off, your information is submitted to the bank in the format we know they need it, reducing the chance of rejection and delays in the process. This leaves you free to get on with running your practice.
For further details please contact Harry Bengough.