Coping with Covid-19 – Cash is King

SMEs need to focus on credit

With all businesses and all sectors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the key to business survival will initially be cash management. Companies and SMEs need to focus on credit control, and make sure that their invoicing system is up to date and accurate. Look at the sectors being serviced and the financial strength of the customers. Wherever possible do not extend terms. Plan early to identify what support may be needed  from banks and/or finance providers. Make sure to adopt a plan that is workable and allows future negotiation and change.

In extreme cases it may be necessary to lay up the business with a plan to re-open, later as operating losses along with cash flow issues may be too severe. In all crises there will be opportunities, and a well-managed business that supports its strong customers will flourish in the future, but in this period it’s vital to eliminate capital spend, assist the business in cash management, make sure the accounts are up to date with all invoicing and credit control functions and know where the cash balance is heading for, with accurate cash flow management updated regularly. Donal Dempsey 

SFA reaction to latest COVID-19 package  

The Small Firms Association has welcomed the Government’s latest support measures designed to see small businesses and their workers through the COVID-19 crisis. 

Sven Spollen-Behrens, Director of the Small Firms Association said: “The Government has listened to the feedback we have provided and responded to the needs of small business owners across the country. Importantly, those that are self-employed who are experiencing a significant loss of income, will be eligible for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 directly from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.  

“The announcement that non-essential retail outlets have been ordered to close is understandable given the circumstances. I encourage these small retailers to contact their local authority immediately in relation to rates deferral and to seek advice from their Local Enterprise Office on additional COVID-19 supports. 

“SFA supports the newly announced social distancing measures and will work with small business owners to adhere to them and continue to support them during this crisis.”