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Navigating These Challenging Times – A Resource Guide for Small Businesses

Navigating These Challenging Times – A Resource Guide for Small Businesses

Navigating These Challenging Times – A Resource Guide for Small Businesses

As COVID-19 impacts our communities, we’ve all paused a time or two, or several these past couple of weeks.  For many people, small business owners included, you didn’t get into entrepreneurship because you like looking at balance sheets or profit and loss statements.  However, that is one of the first things small business owners should be looking at.  As we navigate these challenging times, we are here to offer helpful resources for you to better pilot. 

  1. Assess the Balance Sheet and Protect Cash Flow. 

Review your Balance Sheet and look for ways to offset costs during these times.  Expense Management and Cash Flow will be the lifeblood of your business, assess the cash levels and look for efficiencies to help short term hiccups.  Can you reduce inventory costs without sacrificing quality or convenience for clients?  Most importantly, be agile!  Being nimble and ready to pivot when needed gives many small businesses the advantage during tough times.  Always plan for your next move!

         2. Reach Out to Your Vendors.  

Should you find yourself needing to consider rearranging how and when to make certain payments, you may decide to have conversations with your vendors to arrange alternate payment options aside from direct debit.  To dial in more direct control of your account activity, you could choose to originate ACH transactions or, potentially, send checks when appropriate. If this is a step you decide to take, make sure to contact your vendors (both verbally and in writing) and state that you would like to turn the direct debit function off/revoke authorization, and that you prefer to set up an alternate payment arrangement. You should also request that the revocation of your previous debit authorization be provided in writing, so that you can maintain a copy for your records

Remember that you can monitor daily activity through your Business Online Banking platform. Other options to monitor activity could include Check and ACH Positive Pay, just ask your bank contact for more information about the services they can provide. Keep in mind that your bankers are there to be your advocates, so don’t hesitate to contact them with questions or concerns.

        3.  Monitor Your Accounts.

The great news in banking is you can monitor your accounts from anywhere.  You can bank online, mobile, and some banks have Video Banking Machines to help you monitor, transact, and manage your bank accounts. 

  • Check your account balances and your latest transaction information. 
  • Securely deposit checks with your phone via mobile banking.
  • Pay your bills with online bill payment.
  • Update your contact information by looking at your account profile to ensure your information is up to date. 

        4.  Call Your Bank.

Don’t shy away from this conversation.  Reach out to your banker, believe it or not we want to hear from you.  Many bankers have resources ready to share with you such as disaster assistance from the SBA .  To be eligible for an economic injury disaster loan through the SBA, you'll need to be located in a disaster-declared country or contiguous county. This type of loan is open to private organizations or small business owners who have sustained economic injury because of the declared disaster.  For owners and employees there is also an upcoming webinar found here from the Indiana Workforce Development. 

        5.  Stay Vigilant. 

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 hasn’t halted scammers.  Being mindful to slow down, assess information that is being presented, and relying on experts around you are all great best practices.  If something sounds too good to be true, it likely is.  With emotions high this often when scammers will prey on the most vulnerable.

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