Now is the time to tighten your belt. Monitor your cash flow diligently. Make minimum payments on credit cards and loans until cash begins to come in again. Do not make any unnecessary purchases.
Shop your expenses to look for the best price. Some common expenses to shop are insurance, phone and internet providers, supplies, etc.
Shop your credit cards. Many credit card companies are currently offering 0% interest rates for up to a year with a balance transfer.
Create a monthly forecast to ensure that expenses are in line with Accounts Receivable. Monitor this closely so you can apply for loans well in advance of actually needing them.
Call your vendors. Let them know how much you can pay them and when you will be able to pay. Don’t ignore the bills. People are more willing to work with you if you stay in contact with them.
Be sure to invoice your customers immediately for any work you do. Even if customers cannot pay you today, you will be at the top of the list to get paid when the economy comes back to life.
Consider taking money from any lines of credit you may have available before you need it. Strengthen your banking relationships.
Get creative. Are there new services or products you can offer your customers during this time. One example is many restaurants are now offering curbside take-out and delivery. Don’t skimp on service or quality.
Re-evaluate your staffing needs. In the event you must lay off staff, provide them with all the necessary information so they can apply for unemployment. Please note that NYS is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus closures or quarantines.
To file a NYS unemployment claim, go to www.labor.ny.gov.
Communicating with your customers is going to be key to maintaining your relationships. Go back to old school phone calls or if you are equipped, hold virtual meetings. All of us are suffering from social distancing and this will be a way for you to socialize with your customers.
Stay calm and focus on solutions.
The SBA website is now up and running for “Disaster Relief Loans” for businesses.
The first website is the main website from which you can start the application process. Go to https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
The second website is an index of information to read up on the available loans.
Go to https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/Index.
Businesses applying for loans are encouraged to use the website between 7pm and 7am since this will be a high traffic website.
For information about NYS Emergency COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave, go to https://www.governor.ny.gov/paid-sick-leave-covid-19-impacted-new-yorkers/emergency-covid-19-paid-sick-leave.
For information about NYS Paid Family Leave go to https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/COVID19.
We are here to help get you through this. Stay in touch with us. Email us regularly to let us know how you are doing and how we can help.
Sandra G. Johnson, CPA, EA, CFE