COVID 19: SUPPORTING YOUR BUSINESS

As the COVID-19 crisis deepens and brings our economy and its businesses to a standstill, what should business owners be doing to best position themselves for the immediate challenges that confront them? Our Advisory team are working closely with businesses and financial institutions and have set out below some useful tips for business owners to help navigate their way through this unprecedented situation.

How we can help

Insights & Advice

What are the quick wins I can avail of in managing my situation?

  • Consider your financial and cash position under a worst-case scenario and consider what measures are open to you to align costs with activity levels
  • Avail of the relevant Government supports that are available to you such as the option to defer tax payments to Revenue for a period
  • Communicate with all key stakeholders such as employees, banks, customers and suppliers promptly and communicate your position coherently

Our Advisory team have set out some recommendations for managing your business through this challenging period.

Crisis Planning 

All businesses should prepare a business continuity plan that assumes a worst-case scenario that could see the company operating at very low levels for several months. It is essential that the plan is prepared under a range of scenarios and regularly reviewed as events unfold and new information comes to light.

 The key questions that emerge in such a scenario are as follows:

  • What is the likely cash requirement over this time, and how will this be funded?
  • What immediate measures can be undertaken to align costs to a level consistent with activity?
  • Can I access a temporary working capital facility from my bankers and what do I need to do to arrange this?
  • How susceptible is the debtor book to loss through bad debts?
  • Will my customers be able to remain open during this period?
  • Can I avail of any of the recently announced Covid-19 Government supports?
  • What stakeholders could be able to assist during the crisis, e.g., Rent-holidays from the landlord, payment deferral arrangements from the Revenue Commissioners, extended credit from suppliers?
  • Can I extract the business from forward purchase of foreign exchange commitments?

Communication

With new information and stories continuously circulating in the public domain, businesses must communicate effectively and proactively with all stakeholders. Companies and people strive on certainty, and it is essential that all communications are clear, concise, timely, accurate and don’t serve to create further panic around the crisis.

Employers should keep employees regularly informed of the latest developments and official advice from the Government and should have an open-door policy to address any concerns or questions from employees regarding the current situation.

Staff Issues

Staff are the most valuable asset in most businesses and managing the inevitable challenges that the crisis presents is a key priority. On the assumption the current turmoil may only last for a three to six-month period, business owners will be keen to ensure they can hold onto their teams until the inevitable recovery arrives in a few months. However, in some cases, it will not be financially feasible. Proactive and timely communication is critical, and leaders will need to consider the following:

  • Who are the key people that need to be available on site?
  • To what extent can the business practically work under a ‘working from home’ model?
  • Is there a contingency plan in place if crucial members fall ill during the crisis?
  • Cost reduction measures such as ‘short weeks’ or reduced pay – can this be facilitated to ensure holding the team?
  • How can the various Government measures assist in dealing with staff issues?

Supply Chain

Global supply chains are regularly challenged and disrupted by the rapid unpredictability of natural disasters to global pandemic issues such as COVID-19. Many organisations possess outsourced manufacturing functions connected to global distribution networks that would be severely impacted should a pandemic event occur. Business owners need to consider the following items in assessing supply issues:

  • With potential supply shortage from material in affected areas, orders may be delayed or partially filled, resulting in potential penalties with customers (cancelled orders, penalties based on contract terms). ​
  • Many companies have outsourced parts of their operation (either locally or internationally), and these services may be disrupted during a pandemic event. ​
  • Port authority issues/border closings may be essential considerations in the movement of goods and materials. ​
  • Suppliers, particularly small businesses or high operating cost production, may be closed during the period of the crisis.
  • Decreased demand for specific materials may make production too costly. ​

Covid-19 - government and other available supports – useful links

Contacts

Covid-19 Helping Your Business

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During this time of uncertainty, business leaders need a source of reliable information to help meet the challenges they face. To help, Mazars is creating a series of useful insights written by experts in each subject to offer advice, guidance and practical support.

Read more

Covid-19 Insights and Advice

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Regardless of the market you operate within or the size of business you manage, we all have a common goal: to reduce the impact of this pandemic on operations, employees, customers and the general public.

Read more

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