Surviving this Crisis Together

By: Luwanna Williams, Asst. Vice President, Investment Banking Posted:

During times of crisis, people go through an array of emotions. Many of us struggle to adapt to changes that are sudden and this may be harder for some, more than it is for others. As humans, we are creatures of habit and our habits make us comfortable. They make us feel safe and the sense of predictability they offer provides inner peace.

Enter COVID-19

As 2020 dawned, most of us paid little or no attention to the virus which had already shut down one of the world’s largest economies. We were busy ringing in the new year, making resolutions, and eagerly awaiting what we thought would be *THE * year.

On a corporate level, many companies were beginning to roll out new plans for expansion and growth. However, COVID-19 was also making plans to roll out…and show us who really is the boss.

We are now in the third quarter of 2020, yet the future is still ‘blurry’ for most. Worldwide, governments have shelled out billions in aid for small businesses and individual relief packages. One question I get asked frequently is “How can businesses and investors use this time to their benefit?”

There are a few ways, three of which are below:

  1. Use the time to assess your business. By now, the pandemic has highlighted weaknesses in infrastructure and policies for most. Use the time to fix them. As the coronavirus has demonstrated, a worldwide pandemic is not farfetched. It’s happening now…it can happen again. Use the time to pivot. Most, if not all Investment Banks offer Financial Advisory services to clients. Business owners can benefit from the expertise of individuals who have worked with many businesses, – large and small, across different sectors.
  2. Assess your balance sheet – this is a broad, but critical exercise – what assets do you currently hold? Are they generating the returns you expected or require? Can these be securitized to generate cashflows for your company? Now is the time to get creative! What about your funding needs? Many businesses are now taking advantage of the opportunity to request moratoriums on debt facilities or they are refinancing or restructuring credit facilities at more accommodative terms. Many creditors are willing to relax restrictive terms or covenants, some are willing to extend maturity dates. Reach out to your financial partner and have the conversation to work out the best solution for you. We are in this crisis together.
  3. One thing life has taught us, if someone is losing, chances are someone else is winning. Look for opportunities. Many investors have already profited from the equity and bond markets, taking advantage of falling prices, and continue to do so. Using the same concept, of “buy low, sell high”, look around for ways to expand your business through the acquisition of other companies. If you are like me, I love a good sale. Pick up these undervalued assets at bargain prices. Investments banks offer support services for companies pursuing mergers and acquisitions, including business valuations, bridge financing and negotiation support. We are committed to assisting our clients to achieve their strategic goals. We look forward to helping you regroup, pivot and thrive as we navigate these uncertain times together. Learn more about our Investment Banking Solutions.