Five steps to close the year strong

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The coronavirus pandemic has affected businesses all over the world – some hindered, some helped – but nevertheless affected in some way.

As 2020 winds down, that’s a sobering fact to consider. But it can also provide motivation to conduct a thorough and thoughtful review of your business and financial position.

With still so much uncertainty on the horizon, how can you truly position your company for a long-term recovery or continue your success? Here are some important steps you can take now to help you be in a better place in 2021.

1. Upgrade your protection

The coronavirus pandemic provided cyber scammers with a prime opportunity to unleash a variety of phishing emails with malicious attachments and links to fraudulent websites devised to trick you or your employees into revealing sensitive information or inadvertently providing access to your data.

Use Q4 to review (and shore up) your cyber security practices, communicate them to your employees and make sure you have a robust disaster recovery plan in place. For an added layer of protection, consider protecting your business with a cyber insurance policy. For more ways to safeguard both your business and your employees, download our Best Practices Guide.

Remember, Webster Bank can help you include cybersecurity services in your planning. Furthermore, we will never call you and ask for your PIN, social security number EIN or other business identification numbers.


2. Explore your options for access to capital

Widespread business disruptions impacted many sectors of our economy this year. Whether you need access to capital in 2021 or just want to be prepared, it’s important to understand your options for financial relief.

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several helpful programs.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. Eligible small businesses and non-profit organizations can apply for low-interest, long-term disaster relief loans of up to $2 million through this program. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Apply directly through the SBA for this program. Get the details at sba.gov/disaster.

Traditional SBA lending programs. A Preferred SBA lender, Webster Bank can offer you expert support. SBA loans are guaranteed by the Federal government, which allow banks to offer more flexibility to businesses that may not meet conventional loan criteria. SBA lenders may also require less money down and offer longer terms to help struggling businesses ease their cash flow.

To learn more about these loans, administered through Webster Bank, call 203-271-7344.  

 

3. Renegotiate existing contracts

Get a handle on spending as you plan for 2021. Cut back on expenses where you can…and look for opportunities to renegotiate (and possibly defer payments on) existing vendor contracts, scheduled loan payments or lease terms. All of which can help strengthen your financial position and cash flow as you move forward and recover from the impact of the pandemic. 

 

4. Connect with a banker to find new and innovate ways to do business

With many forecasters predicting continued uncertainty in 2021, every business sector is facing unique challenges. However, Webster business bankers have expertise in a variety of industries, and they can assist you with information and recommendations tailored to your specific type of business and/or connect you with alternative suppliers or new partners who can help you develop new services.

For instance, we’ve heard from hard-hit restaurants who are exploring potential new partners for delivery services and online ordering. We’re working with legal and accounting practices who are finding new ways to mobilize their at-home workforce. And we’re talking with medical and dental practices who are finding new ways to treat patients remotely.

 

5. Share best practices and stay informed

Exchange best practices with other business leaders in your area or industry that helped you pivot throughout the year and will help you move forward into the coming year. Continue to stay up-to-date on the status of the pandemic by relying on trusted sources or legitimate government websites at:  

Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Small Business Administration
Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency

As we close out 2020, Webster stands ready to help you manage and protect the financial viability of your business. Call your banker for answers to any questions as they evolve —24 hours a day, 7 days a week online or at 800-325-2424.

 

Disclosure

All credit products, pricing and overdraft protection are subject to the normal credit approval process. Some applications may require further consideration and/or supplemental information. Certain terms and conditions may apply. SBA guaranteed products may also be subject to additional terms, conditions and fees.

General Disclosures

The opinions and views in this blog post are those of the authors, and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Please consult professional advisors with regard to your individual situation.