Since restrictions were imposed to contain the Coronavirus, we have been lobbying Government to extend the provision of financial support to the self-employed. We were therefore delighted with the new scheme announced on Friday, 27 March 2020, which will be of some comfort to many of you during this time.
That said, we are acutely aware that access to this support will not pay grants until June, and for new graduates and business owners amongst you this scheme will not be applicable. We are also painfully aware that some of our members are having to reduce their cash outflows during this difficult period.
I have therefore agreed with our President this week, as an emergency measure, that you will have the option to defer your iO Membership fees for two months from April 2020*.
While deferral of your iO Membership alone will not alleviate the loss of income concerns that you may be experiencing, we hope this demonstrates to you our continued commitment to do what we can to support our members through the coming weeks and beyond.
We also know that many of you still have questions of what provisions you are eligible for under the Government’s current financial support measures. We have this week hosted a webinar with Michael Bennett FCCA, to clarify how these reliefs apply to the common models of business seen in osteopathy, and we expect to do more of these as more details on these schemes are released.
As you know, the iO is a not for profit organisation – it is your fees that fund our existence to do the work that we do. I want to therefore take this opportunity to thank you for your overwhelming support of the organisation, especially in the last two weeks. Your fantastic response has been much appreciated by the team and me, and it has meant a lot to us that so many of you have written in to express this.
I can only reiterate what an unprecedented and rapidly changing situation we find ourselves facing day by day. While our priority at this time is on supporting you and the profession, there will be a time when we will be on the other side, and we need to consider how we pick ourselves up as a profession once this crisis is over.
The team and I are already beginning preparations to fast forward our plans to build recognition for osteopaths so that when the time is right, we can ramp-up our promotional activities for the profession and provide you with resources to do the same for your practices.
If we work together and keep together, we will navigate our way through the coming weeks and emerge as a profession stronger for it.
CEO, Institute of Osteopathy