EAST LANCASHIRE business owners should start planning their recovery from the coronavirus lockdown as soon as possible, according to a legal expert from a regional law firm.

Jamie Allison, a partner at Napthens, said companies which plan for restarting their business after lockdown restrictions are lifted are most likely to return to growth quicker.

Mr Allison indicated questions which directors should ask themselves to help them return to pre-pandemic levels.

He said: “Assessing your financial projections and cash-flow forecasts will give business owners the quickest health check about whether they can bounce back quickly or should expect slower growth and it will help their bankers to support them. Directors should be speaking to their accountants now for information and advice on managing finances and checking they have accessed the necessary public and private funding.

“The way staff work has changed, and all business owners should re-assess what working together looks like in the ‘new normal’: be that more agility in remote working, more efficient use of office space and making sure that your workforce has the right hardware and software to work more seamlessly.

“While some owners may be tempted to chase suppliers and customers for payments, they should be extremely wary that this could result in losing long-term loyalty. Similarly, after a period staying indoors, customers are now more likely to buy online, and offering good quality e-commerce and online sales platform could give you a step ahead of competitors."

Napthens, which has an office in Blackburn, has been offering advice to navigate the coronavirus pandemic with a specially assembled team, offering advice on employment, health and safety, business support and wills and estate planning.