Dear Clients and Friends,
At SSB, we are hearing from business owners who are impacted by COVID-19—make no mistake—in the end, this is all of us. Following is a list of things to consider during these difficult times:
- Stay calm and don’t panic. Business leaders must remain composed, in control and make well thought out decisions.
- Maintain and control your cash flow. What changes can be made to limit expenses? Defer 2019 and first quarter 2020 estimated income tax payments to July 15. Take advantage of tax credits for employee sick leave.
- Create a plan that maximizes your ability to “stay in place” with your team until such time that you can reopen and begin recovering. This may include maximizing unemployment benefits, working from home, rotating partial work schedules or paying out paid time off (earned, unearned or advances). Keep lines of communication open with your employees.
- Talk to your lenders. Ask if you are an “impacted business.” As an impacted business, you may be eligible for SBA-backed loans or a period of interest only on your conventional loans. We expect the options to be expanding. Consider talking to your business lender about interest-only payments, lines of credit or other options to increase access to short-term capital.
- Talk to your vendors about working together for short-term financing.
- Stay in contact with your customers. Find ways to keep them engaged with your business so that you are “top of mind” when your doors reopen. Use email campaigns, social media and updates on your exterior signage and website.
- Consider using this time as an opportunity to strengthen what you do to market your business. As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, you will want to be more attractive than ever to your customers.
- Be aware of scams.
- Consult your advisor for help with decisions or to act as a sounding board.
- If you can’t work “IN” your business, consider how you might work “ON” your business. This might include:
- People. Consider long-term changes in your staffing.
- Process. Consider implementing changes in how your business processes its product or service.
- Product. Determine if you should add, delete or change your products, services or menu.
- Make changes to your business model.
- Implement a budget to improve your business once some normalcy returns.
- Perform deferred maintenance on your facility.
- Work on your marketing plan.
Please contact your SSB Advisor if you need assistance in the upcoming weeks. As always, we are here to help, and we will navigate this together.