COVID-19 is creating unprecedented business disruptions around the globe, and it is important to take this situation seriously. Acting with urgency is crucial, but having a plan of attach will mitigate confusion down the road. We recommend focusing on two main points:
1. Health and Safety of Your Office and Your Team:
- Your health and the health of your team matters. None of these strategies can be executed if you and/or a large portion of your team are sick. Follow your state’s guidelines on how many individuals are allowed in your office and be proactive in your cleaning measures. Refrain from shaking hands.
- Identify the employees and procedures that are essential to making your business operational. Create a succession of management procedure and plan for the worst case scenario. Assume parts of your leadership team may be unavailable and identify the gaps this may cause.
- Communication is key. Be proactive and communicate with your employees and your team on a daily basis. If your workplace is implementing new policies in response to this outbreak, make sure these policies are communicated clearly.
2. Health and Safety of Your Business:
- Create a list of your key customers and formalize a plan to serve them for at least the next four months.
- Communicate with your customers and keep them updated on your status. Strategize statements for worst case scenarios, talking points, social media plans, and update your contacts lists.
- Review relevant insurance information, which can include:
- Property/Business Interruption Policies
- Event Cancellation Policies
- Communicable Disease Coverage Grants
- Various Conditions/Requirements/Exclusions
- Make sure your cybersecurity is up-to-date for increased remote access to company data or networks. This would be a good time to remind your team how to spot phishing scams and not to immediately open outside attachments in their emails.
- Prepare and plan the next six months of incoming and outgoing cash projection. This will help you spot cash shortfalls as quickly as possible and allow time for you to adjust accordingly.
- If your company is experiencing a reduced workload and labor needs to be adjusted, look at the state and federal programs for small and mid-sized businesses to help keep employees on the payroll. Labor reductions can be carried out through furloughs, lay-offs, pay reductions, etc., and it is important to check with an employment attorney before making drastic cuts.
- If you have a business loan, now is the time to talk to your banker about loan relief options and other loan programs that may be offered as part of the future federal legislation.
- Though the tax-filing deadline has been pushed back, it is important for you to check with your accounting team and your tax attorney now about proactive measures for filing.
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information contained herein is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Any information contained in this article is not intended to be a substitute for legal counsel. No one should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this article but should instead seek the appropriate legal advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a properly licensed attorney. The author expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any of the contents of this article. This article contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments.