The majority of our work is large-scale events with SEN & mainstream schools and concerts and all of this has been cancelled for the foreseeable future. We are looking at creative ways for us to try and continue offering some services in a virtual, online format to try and replace some of this lost work, but it will not be enough to keep us afloat. Even without paying us a single penny in the coming months, we have circa £4k per month of constant overheads (rent etc) that we have to cover before we've even sung a note!
Despite Government announcements about support for Small Businesses, it looks like Singing Hands is also not eligible for the Govt 10K grant as although we pay rent (which include business rates), we aren't personally in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief. As we have stated on social media, the insurance business has ensured that most 'business interruption' clauses don't cover pandemics, so we cannot claim there either. We're stuffed!
We don't really know what else to say - we are both Mums of disabled young people who are 'high risk' and we are worried enough about keeping them safe as you are about your families too. This additional responsibility of keeping our business viable feels insurmountable. But we have a duty of responsibility to our wonderful team to keep things going for them too so that they have a job to come back to! We feel sick with worry on both fronts.
So you may ask - why are we in this situation? As you know, we do charge for our events, but we run on a not-for-profit basis (we set up before CICs were even a thing) so we don't have months of spare cash set aside for this sort of eventuality. Money from sales of our DVDs pay off the ongoing DVD loans so they are not a revenue stream to keep us afloat. Nor is our YouTube channel - popular videos like the CarPark Karaokes, don't raise a bean for us due to copyright. The money goes to the copyright holder of course. Essentially, we sing & sign & earn from live events & classes only. These sessions pay us, our team and our overheads each month. And that's how it has gone for 17 years. Until now.
We are mortified to be asking you all to do this but are putting out our hands and asking our fans to support us. We will continue to provide FREE content on our YouTube and Facebook page in the coming months to help you get through this - for both your sanity and your kids enjoyment. They will have lost all routine with school closures and we know how hard that's going to be.
We totally appreciate that everyone is going to be cash-strapped and struggling in the next few months and that us asking for your money is not ideal. But if a whole load of you could donate £5, £10 or more (!) to help us survive, you can be certain that we'll do our utmost to help you in return until we're too old to do so (or you tell us to stop!!)
Thank you for reading.
Stay safe. Look after your loved ones.
With thanks as always