The Wave: Four Factors to Helping Your Business Move Forward02.25.2021
After having worked through the 2009 recession and helping our customers rebuild their businesses and financial base, we at Bank of Guam realized that most businesses had understood that there would continue to be economic cycles in the future. But no one could have predicted (or prepared for) the COVID-19 pandemic and the across-the-board effect it would have on companies of all sizes in all sectors.
Nearly every business was affected across a variety of industries, some more than others. At Bank of Guam, we are deeply committed to the financial well-being of our customers and we have been active participants in ensuring that when the PPP loan program was first instituted that we worked with them to obtain the available funding. When the second round was rolled out early in 2020, as a Minority Depository Institution (MDI), we were at the front of the line for funding and immediately worked with customers to take advantage of the program.
At the same time, we have been able to observe and discern the common elements that have allowed some businesses to survive and to begin the path back to success.
Here are some of our observations that may serve as guideposts for businesses to move forward while also positioning themselves for the next bump in the economy.
We believe that there are four key factors:
- Having Liquidity--Companies with liquidity on their balance sheets were able to last longer than the companies that were highly leveraged with higher debt obligations.
- Being Agile—During the pandemic, companies that were able to reach customers by altering how they delivered their “product” had much better outcomes. For restaurants, it may mean changing the menu geared towards takeout and partnering with online delivery services. For retail stores, it meant having an online presence and selling online. For the hotel industry, that meant partnering with City and State programs to lease properties as quarantine facilities or accommodation for front-line workers or certain at-risk populations.
- Leveraging Technology: Firms that used the power of technology to reduce cost or increased social media to improve sales fared better.
- Utilizing City/State /Federally funded programs: There are several programs, including the Paycheck Protection Programs, EIDL grants, and various SBA programs that can be crucial for survival and ultimately successful recovery.
Additionally, we urge business owners to talk to their insurance broker about coverages are available programs, including business interruption insurance.
To our customers, we are here to be your partners and to help you find programs that will position your business to remain flexible as conditions change. This is a great time to sit down with us and review your plans, your finances, and your business priorities.