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March 24, 2020

Top Priorities in a Crisis

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, the full impact is unknown. From dealing with workforce shortages to creating virtual work environments, business leaders are faced with keeping their businesses operational while responding to the developing global crisis.

Top Business Priorities During the Global COVID-19 Crisis

Blythe Global Advisors remains vigilant in monitoring the changes that affect business and supporting clients as they navigate uncharted territory. Our Growth Advisory Services team has identified seven key areas that businesses must focus on immediately.

  1. Essential Business Categorization
    • Determine if your company meets the requirements to be considered an “essential business.” (Click here for a list of exempt sectors in California.)
    • If your company is considered an essential business in your state, draft a letter to give suppliers. This will allow them to continue providing materials or services to support your business.
    • Provide a letter to your vendors declaring that your company is an essential business.
    • When you receive a letter from a customer who states their business is considered an essential business, you must investigate to confirm.
  2. Employees
    • Identify the workers who should be categorized as “essential.”
    • Create safe passage letters for essential employees. Essential employees are required to have the letter with them at all times and should be prepared to present the letter to law enforcement when asked why they are not working from home.
    • Consider using a temporary workforce to fill open positions.
  3. Non-Essential Business
    • Understand the latest federal and state employee-related requirements, including those related to family leave, unemployment and paid time off.
    • Calculate the amount of pay for various types of paid time off.
  4. Cash Management
    • Conserve cash by deferring tax and mortgage payments under initiatives that have been or may be enacted at the federal and state levels.
    • Review expenses for non-critical functions that can be reduced. Contact your service providers and request a reduction of services to lower your expenses.
    • Apply for an SBA loan to help cover operating expenses, and avoid laying off employees, if you can. Your SBA loan may be forgiven on condition that you keep your employees on payroll. (Also, you and/or your employees may get federal assistance to cover all or part of their salaries for several months.)
    • Contact your insurance broker regarding Business Interruption Insurance. Start to build a file and gather data to support a claim under the policy.
    • Prepare a detailed operating cash flow analysis to manage cash on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis.
    • Start or increase the frequency of your cash forecasting process.
    • Manage working capital more aggressively to free up cash.
      • Inventories: Reduce raw material and finished goods inventories to reflect the downturn in top-line activity during the crisis.
      • Receivables: Accelerate collections activities; reassess credit lines as customers come under cash constraints; consider increased cash discounts and shorter payment terms to accelerate cash. Review the invoice to cash workflow.
      • Accounts payable: Reach out and partner with key vendors, they may be willing to work with you; work with your local utility providers for support (i.e., rates, terms).
    • Use this interruption in business activity to plan strategically for the future when the coronavirus has been contained and the economy recovers. How are the markets in which you purchase and sell likely to be different from the way they were before?
  5. Technology
    • Set up low-cost video and non-video conferencing.
    • Review and upgrade technology infrastructure so that IT infrastructure can handle your remote workforce.
    • Conduct an IT security review to ensure proper measures (software and hardware) are in place to block unauthorized access to company network.
  6. Banking
    • Contact your banker to determine what policies have been implemented on interest, principal, and mortgage payments. Waiver of financial covenants and reporting dates.
    • Submit application for emergency funds to obtain working capital under available credit or SBA loans.
  7. Accounting
    • Review intangible assets for the determination of any impairments, this is more critical for public companies due to quarterly reporting requirements.

With all businesses facing the same uncertainty over COVID-19, supporting clients is our top priority. Our Growth Advisory Services team is ready to provide you with quick and up-to-date advice for all your questions and concerns.

 

If you would like advice or assistance regarding
any of these recommendations,
contact Marc Blythe at marc@blytheglobal.com or call 949-757-4180.


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The news and briefs published on this Web site, current as of the dates of publication, are for general information and reference purposes only. They do not constitute specific financial or accounting advice for individual circumstances and/or companies. Such specific financial or accounting advice should always be sought separately.

 

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