BY: Stanley D. Koopmans
The most important thing for you to know right now is that your bank is still open for business, and people can help you. In addition to online and mobile banking tools, real people are available to help by phone and email. Plus, drive-ups are still open in most locations.
Getting Financial Assistance
It’s more important than ever to keep the lines of communication open with your financial partners. Thanks to years of experience working with businesses in various industries, your banker may be able to serve as a sounding board as your company considers ways to manage cash flow, deal with existing debt, open a line of credit, or help you navigate resources for funding or applying for stimulus programs.
Consider reaching out to SBCP’s Treasury Management
experts to ask for a needs assessment to determine if there are ways you could save money, limit fees, protect accounts, or improve efficiencies that could make your business function better in both the short-term and long-term.
Your banker may also be able to defer payments or interest on existing loans. Be sure to understand what deferring payments means in your situation, since each loan program may have different term options available. It could mean extending your loan by tacking those deferred payments onto the end or might mean absorbing those payments monthly for a specific period of time or it could possibly mean eliminating those payments. Banks will be obligated to follow the laws governing specific loan programs.
Increasing Efficiency by Using Online and Mobile Banking
This can be a tremendous opportunity to become proficient in some of the tools State Bank of Cross Plains offers to help you manage your account. Check out our website for instructions and demos explaining online access to your accounts by desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile device. For example:
- If you have never had the time to become familiar with online banking, this might be the time to dig up your username and password and give it a try. We can help you get logged in and walk you through the process.
- SBCP also has a mobile application you can download and allow you to view your accounts in real time, deposit checks using the phone’s camera, and even authorize ACH transactions.
One positive outcome in the current situation can be that businesses become more adept at using these tools and learn ways to become more efficient far into the future.
Anticipated Trends and Things To Do Now
The existing environment is impacting work flow, cash flow, and best practices. Some of these trends include:
- Expect delays and increased costs on projects due to permits, supply chain issues, inspections, labor safety requirements, etc.
- Unlike economic downturns in the past, regulators are encouraging banks to be more flexible and lenient with borrowers since financial issues were not caused by underlying credit problems or poor business practices.
- Banks may tighten lending practices on new projects until the economy improves.
- Banks and credit cards may temporarily cease credit reporting so that missed or late payments don’t negatively affect your credit score.
- Successful work-from-home practices may impact the need for office space in the future.
Some things your business can do right now to improve your financial situation:
- Talk to your lender, if you haven’t already.
- Plan for a disruption in your cash flow for at least the next 3 months.
- Prepare to produce required information for federal assistance so you can respond to available programs quickly.
- Don’t panic or draw on lines of credit too quickly. Look at ways to reduce expenses, use existing inventory creatively, and capitalize on available income first.
Again, your banker may be busy, but we will make time to answer your questions and be your partner throughout this process. As we navigate this new world together, we hope to set up your business to survive now and thrive in the future.