We know many of our business customers are rightfully concerned about how COVID-19 is impacting their businesses. Please be reassured that we remain committed to supporting you during this unprecedented time. We are still gathering all the details on how programs in the recently signed CARES Act stimulus package will be implemented. Until then, please know there are five things you can do right now:
- If you haven’t already, talk to your lender if you are experiencing or expect to experience cash flow problems.
- Plan for the next 3-6 months. We know many businesses have sufficient funds or access to capital for the first 2-3 months. However, since we don’t know exactly how long this pandemic will affect us, we encourage you to look further ahead both in terms of a potential lengthening of the pandemic, and in terms of how you will handle a recovery and re-opening of a business if you are currently closed.
- All loan programs still require some information to underwrite the loan, including the ones created through the CARES Act. Be ready to produce required documentation quickly to help your lender with your application. For example, the Paycheck Protection Act (PPA) is intended to help cover 2 ½ months’ worth of payroll. A PPA loan used for “covered expenses” such as payroll, rent and utilities will be forgiven upon verification. Right now is a good time to gather documentation verifying the number of employees you’ve had on payroll for the last 12 months and their pay rates, including IRS payroll tax filings and state income; payroll and unemployment insurance filings; and documentation verifying payments on covered mortgage obligations, lease obligations and utilities.
- There is plenty of liquidity in the system (unlike what may have existed in 2008) so don’t panic and draw on lines of credit unnecessarily. Just as we are encouraging everyone to keep excess cash in insured financial institutions, we encourage you to keep your lines of credit intact until you absolutely need to access them. There may be costs associated with accessing lines of credit and if you don’t need to incur the added expense, don’t.
- Have patience – we want to help you through these unprecedented times but not all programs are in place yet. Even when they are, technology can cause hiccups or delays (e.g. systems crashing). We appreciate your patience as we work through these programs to find you the best solutions.
As always, do not hesitate to be in touch with any questions or concerns. Please give us a call at the branch, get in touch with our business lenders, or send us an email anytime.
Hartford — 262-673-5800
Richfield — 262-628-5500
Slinger — 262-644-7606