A north Scotland accountancy firm has been working around the clock to help local firms put in place business continuity plans using the Government’s financial support schemes.

Goldwells, which has seven offices across north Scotland, has seen a huge increase in calls in the last two weeks as it helps businesses and self-employed individuals navigate through the various initiatives the Government has rolled-out. With its team working from home and a skeleton staff at the Peterhead office, the Goldwells team has been advising clients who are seeking grants and looking to place individuals on furlough.

Since the introduction of the lockdown measures, UK businesses have been forced to close with staff working from home whenever possible. A large proportion of the queries made throughout the seven Goldwells offices concern the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which promises to cover 80% of wages for employees placed on furlough. The firm has also seen an increase in queries about taxation, the extension of the IR35 reforms until a later date and the shelving of the second self-assessment payment on account, amongst others. With a large proportion of self-employed workers in north Scotland, Goldwells has been helping sole-traders access recently announced government grants.

Gary Addison, managing director of Goldwells said: “It is inspiring the way so many north businesses are working hard to do their best for their employees – not just during the lockdown, but to make sure there is good employment in the area when the restrictions are lifted. From Inverness to Peterhead, our team has been working hard helping small and medium businesses find the best way to shore up the finances of their businesses.

“Business continuity plans are being worked on up and down the country and the experts at Goldwells have been able to advise which grants to apply for and how to manage payroll during the lockdown.

“As a local firm, we are in a good position to help businesses, whatever the industry. As well as oil and gas workers, we have seafarers and tourism firms as clients alongside manufacturing and retail businesses. North Scotland has a rich heritage of enterprise and we have some fantastic new companies as well as businesses which have been established in the area for generations. When it comes to business continuity, every organisation is different, with many people working on short term and zero-hour contracts.

“The recent changes made by the Government to protect businesses and those self-employed during the pandemic are welcome, but it is not always obvious to business owners what to do to access the right support.”

“Working at home, with complete access to our financial systems, the Goldwells team of professionals has been able to advise clients on the ever-evolving financial situation since the lockdown, helping them secure their businesses for the long term.”

Goldwells has offices in Buckie, Grantown-on-Spey, Inverness, Kingussie, Nairn, Peterhead and Tain.

The firm was established in 2002, and has 50 members of staff.