ILBA SURVIVAL ALERT – Prepared by Eric Meyer, ILBA Government Affairs Chairman
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE – 4/14/2020
WILL YOU SURVIVE EXTENDED CLOSURE?
IS THERE REALLY FEDERAL & STATE RELIEF?
Most licensees need a cash influx now to survive! Most of our doors are closed or we are operating below half our normal business. Some of us are still paying our employees under the belief that we are getting the promised financial relief soon. The politicians look great announcing new programs almost daily to protect small businesses and our employees. The fact is, very few of us are getting any CASH into our bank accounts. Some of us have applied for grants, the Paycheck Protection Plan and may have been awarded one or the other, but STILL NO CASH in the BANK. How much longer can we expect to keep paying our employees if there is no CASH? And our employees aren’t getting any CASH either as the entire IDES is overloaded. We need to let our LEGISLATORS know what is really happening now.
A poll of 30,000 plus small business owners taken last week reported that just 33.5% of the poll responders had applied for an Illinois Relief Grant or PPP Loan. Of the 10,000 or so that had applied, only 1% had received any CASH! About 700 of the 11,700 plus that applied for the Illinois Grant before the April 1st deadline have been awarded the Grant through a lottery with money divided between 1/3rd Cook County, 1/3rd Chicago Collar Counties and 1/3rd downstate Illinois hotels, bars and restaurants. Nice effort, but Where is the CASH? No-one has reported receiving the money yet. We are past the Feel-Good Announcements, it’s time for some actual results!
Restaurants and Bars have already made “Out of Business Announcements”. Champaign just reported losing their TGIF Friday’s and the Old Chicago Pizza & Pub. These are the big guys (chains). If we are losing chain stores, the list will be even greater for smaller businesses that are without the corporate cash resources and shareholders.
We can’t get back March Madness, St Patrick’s Day or any of the many lost events, but we can start now with a plan to survive:
WE ARE IN SURVIVAL MODE NOW! PLAN TO SURVIVE!
APPLY FOR LOAN ASSISTANCE NOW
- It’s not to late to Apply for the Paycheck Protection Plan. You’re not too Late. But you may have to wait longer to get your loan approved. Contact your business banker immediately.
- Secure Lines of Credit to get you through at least 6 months. We are going to see some form of Social Distancing until a vaccine is available. This virus could return again later.
GET PAYMENT RELIEF -ACT NOW
- Several banks are deferring business loan payments for up to 90 days. In many cases, Loan Officers have contacted their business clients. Call your bank or Loan Officer and inquire about these options as soon as possible. If not available now, ask to be informed as soon as the option is available. The Federal Government may force them to do so or even extend the period.
- Contact your landlord and request a delay of your lease payment.
- Contact other vendors and request assistance.
PROTECT CASH FLOW
- Defer paying taxes on sales, beverage, state and federal wherever possible
- Defer paying vendors – extend payment terms – they don’t want to lose you
CREATE CASH FLOW NOW
- Sell unused liquor & beer inventory for package sales. It’s like cash. You’ve paid for it by now and you need to move it if you need cash. Offer delivery or pickup according to your local laws.
- Sell Food & Other items that many stores are struggling to keep in inventory, fresh burger patty’s, ground beef, steaks, chicken breasts, pulled pork, ribs, cigarettes or toilet paper. You can deliver, many stores can’t.
MAKE PLANS FOR REOPENING NOW
- Create a Social Distancing Floor Plan for potential 33% and 50% occupancy levels
- Streamline Food & Beverage Menu’s
- Reduce inventory needs
- Reduce labor needs
- Remove slow movers & low profit items
- Raise prices where possible
- Create new cleaning and serving policies
ILBA Governmental Affairs Chairman