So many opinions and information out there but, as always, we’re trying to find the most helpful information for you and make it easy for you to understand and use practically now.
One of our lawyers, Jen Schreurs, a graduate from Queen’s University business school, tuned into a webinar on the impact of C-19 on the business community and we thought we should share a few nuggets that we found interesting:
- What are the three biggest risks we’ll face? (1) liquidity or access to cash will dry up, (2) effect of virus on employees and their families, (3) what the business marketplace will look like after;
- How is this different from 2008/2009? Because the government is mandating that consumers stay at home, consumers aren’t going out and buying things or doing activities. Similarly, consumers will drag us out of this downturn by spending again;
- What’s going well for Canada? We have a strong banking system so not likely that any of them will collapse. Most Canadians are following the protocols and quarantine well, although apparently BC (cough, Vancouver) is seen as being the biggest outlier and least compliant. Most of us drive our own cars and don’t take public transit and we’re generally spread out. Our supply chain for goods is open and not impacted.
In light of the above, here is a top 10 list of suggestions for what you can do to help your business during this difficult time:
1. Stick to your core values and principles, that’s the only thing that anchors us in uncertain times.
2. Most people don’t respond well to uncertainty, so over-communicate to your team at least one to two times a day if possible. This is a great time to start the daily huddle that lasts generally about one minute per person on your team.
3. Be consistent and fair to everyone around you (your team, clients, suppliers, and people around you) by being truthful and transparent and including them in decision- making and heads up about where you are going and doing. People don’t need more surprises in this time. See the first point above.
4. Innovate and be creative about how you can adjust to this new “normal”. How can you do things better? More efficiently? More focused?
5. Be a compassionate, helpful, and empathetic leader and make decisions through the lenses of people who have a different tolerance for risk, surprises, and uncertainty.
6. Focus on the kindness and generosity of people taking care of us (health workers, fire department, police, paramedics, janitors, grocers, security guards, electricians, plumbers, postal workers, Amazon couriers). There are still ways to connect and build a community despite the barriers.
7. Be grateful for this time together and be optimistic for the future.
And now three more practical trends we’re doing and also seeing from our clients, to weather the storm:
8. Email your banker for principal and/or interest payment deferrals, interest relief. From our direct communications with representatives, TD and RBC are considering things like:
- Moving existing term loans to interest only for up to six months;
- Waiving minimum payments on corporate credit cards for up to six months;
- Temporary Increase for 120 days in operating lines of 10% up to $100,000.
9. Reach out to your landlord to see if there are rent subsidies, deferrals or percentage of revenue rents.
10. Review your financial statements looking at what expenses you can cut that won’t impact your long-term because you will be back long-term!
Many of you have been reaching out to me about some or all of the above, and I’m getting back to people as quickly as we can and sorry for the delays. There’s definitely a spike in our email volume. We’re also recognizing that we’re in this together and we’re thinking through creative ways for us to give you timely and beneficial advice at this time, but also realize that many of you have closed your businesses and trying to reduce expenses. We’ll chat individually with each of you which could include some trades of social media love along with small payment now, and then gift certificate exchanges or bills later.
Also, late to the party today, but figured we’d hold off bombarding you with all the information you probably already have. More help is coming to us small and medium businesses, recognizing that we’re the “backbone” of the economy. See what’s coming below:
- Previously announced wage subsidy will be increased from 10% to 75% for qualifying businesses and retroactive to March 15, 2020.
- Government guaranteed loans of up to $40,000 which will be interest-free for a year and maybe up to $10,000 forgiven.
- GST payments owing will be deferred until June 2020 (includes duties and taxes on imports).
The details of how to access these benefits are expected in the coming days. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.
Enjoy your weekend and reach out anytime; it’s been one long continuous day of work and child care for me!
Thank you and stay safe,