Coronavirus: employer and business questions answered

COVID-19: Managing business operations

Find answers to common business questions on managing business operations, including day-to-day activities such as meetings, events, workplace visitors, business travel and continuity planning.


Can my shop or workplace remain open?

From 23 March 2020, all non-essential shops, work premises and community spaces in Northern Ireland must close.

Find out which workplaces must close and which can remain open.

What about handling post, packages or food?

Staff should continue to follow existing risk assessments and safe systems of working. There are no additional precautions needed for handling post or packages.

What about staff travelling abroad for work purposes?

How can I prepare my business for the impacts of COVID-19?

Planning can help you prepare for disruption, minimise the potential impact and return to 'business as usual' in the quickest possible time. See further guidance on how to carry out a business impact analysis and create a business continuity plan.

Talk to your existing finance provider to see what they can do to help you manage existing debt. If you have an existing loan or asset purchase (for example a lease or HP agreement), you could ask for a repayment holiday. You may also need a new or increased overdraft facility. or to secure additional finance.

Talk to your customers, especially large customers, and ask if they can pay your invoices more quickly. Some firms have already started doing this.

Discuss preparations with your clients now.

Check your contractual obligations, for example, whether there includes unforeseeable circumstances that prevent you from fulfilling your contract.

Check to see what health or income protection insurance you might have in place.

GOV.UK's business continuity management toolkit (PDF, 569K) can help you create a plan and tailor it to the particular circumstances of our business.