COVID 19: Protecting your equestrian business

The British Equestrian Federation this week issued advice urging that “all organised equestrian activity” should stop. The prospect of a prolonged period of social distancing and the impact that it will have on equestrian sport, in particular for those who derive income from it, is daunting.
Whilst not competing, you may have more time on your hands, we set out here our key tips for how to use that time productively and positively.
1. Understand the help available to you by virtue of the government’s emergency legislation. Proposed business rates relief should be a significant help to equestrian businesses, who are often disproportionately burdened by business rates. Small and medium sized businesses will be able to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. Speak to your local authority for further guidance about help available to you.
2. Insurance- many equestrian business will not carry applicable business disruption insurance. However, it is worth checking whether you do and speaking to your provider about this. Use this period as an opportunity to check whether your insurance provisions are adequate generally. Do you need more cover as your business has grown?
3. For trainers and producers, this period may cause anxiety and stress if there is a likelihood of clients removing horses which now cannot compete. Take the opportunity to review your business terms. Do they contain adequate protection for you about the notice required to terminate your services? If your terms do not provide you with protection, or you do not have any written terms, then consider putting those protections in place.
4. Take the opportunity to build new client relationships and improve existing ones. Create marketing content such as a video. Use the spare time which you have to keep in regular contact with your existing clients; ensure that they have thorough feedback about the progress of their horse, and how you plan to continue its training in spite of the restrictions.
5. Manage your debtors and creditors. When you have little time to spare, it’s easy to neglect dealing with those who owe you money, or those who say you owe money to. Don’t let these situations fester. Open up lines of communication and ventilate any problems with services or goods which you have received.

Equine Law

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