The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in our time, affecting the way people live and interact. Businesses have been profoundly impacted as well.
Here are ten things your business needs to consider while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic:
- New laws and government restrictions: Can you open and, if you can, what changes do you have to make to how you operate in order to be in compliance with new legal requirements?
- Employees: Will you lay off employees and, if you need to lay off employees to maintain financial liquidity, what is the best way to do this in order to ensure the employees return when the pandemic permits? How can you streamline employees’ ability to obtain government assistance?
- Health and safety: For those businesses that remain open, what steps can you take to ensure that employees and customers alike are safe?
- Bank and other lenders: Will you be able to meet your obligations? Your bank and lenders should be contacted to outline your situation and your plan on how their position will not be negatively impacted and, if necessary, to note what assistance you will require to weather the pandemic.
- Liquidity and cash flow management: Do you have a good understanding of your business’ liquidity position? Are there key customers and suppliers that should be contacted to advise of your situation and to seek concessions?
- Material contracts: How are your material contracts impacted by the pandemic? Do such contracts contain force majeure, material change and other clauses that may be applicable as a result of the pandemic?
- Government assistance: What government assistance is available to your business? Is there any tax relief or government programs available?
- Use of technology: How can you better use your business’ technology to maintain operations? Can your employees work remotely from home?
- Litigation risks: Do changes to your business operations expose your business to litigation? Are you exposing your business to the possibility of class actions owing to cyber risks, supply and service malfunctions, employment issues, to name just a few?
- Data breaches: Have you tested your systems to ensure they remain secure and are not vulnerable to hackers?
This list is not exhaustive. The unprecedented crisis we are facing will result in unprecedented challenges to businesses. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we may be of assistance to you in shepherding you through this pandemic. We are here to help.