On Thursday, April 23, Tonkon Torp hosted a webinar to provide businesses with strategies to navigate the current COVID-19 environment while also strategically positioning a business for recovery and long-term viability. The panel of speakers featured partners Jeff Cronn and Drea Schmidt from the firm’s Business Department, Brian Murphy of Meridian Capital, and Don Bielen of Perkins & Co. Partner Sherrill Corbett moderated the webinar and fielded audience questions for comment by the speakers.
Don Bielen reviewed strategies and tools a business owner can use to manage cash flow and preserve capital for the short term. He also recommended that a business create and continually revisit multiple cash flow projections to reflect potential recovery scenarios, allowing a company to pivot quickly as needed.
Jeff Cronn looked at the initial rollout of the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and what further funding may be coming. He also shared information about other federal and state funding streams available to a business if it didn’t get a PPP in the first distribution, or if it needs additional help. These include the federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and a forthcoming Main Street Lending Program. State-level financial and operational resources are listed on the Business Oregon website.
Drea Schmidt, stressing that an eight-week forgiveness clock begins running when PPP funds hit a bank account, broke down the key components of preparing for loan forgiveness. Although additional SBA guidance regarding forgiveness will be forthcoming, she shared practical steps a business can start taking immediately, including designating a PPP point person, maintaining detailed records of loan proceed use, and staying in close contact with lenders who will serve as the gatekeepers for loan forgiveness.
Brian Murphy shared how COVID-19 has impacted M&A and growth capital transactions. He noted that although investors are currently focused on evaluating the health of companies already in their portfolio, they will still be well positioned and motivated to put a record amount of available capital to work. He also shared what forms of alternative debt and capital is available outside of big banks, and how a company can leverage market disruption as a growth opportunity.
Webinar guests were encouraged to follow up directly with speakers to ask questions not addressed during the hour-long program. Tonkon Torp has published a COVID-19 Business Resource page that is continually refreshed with alerts that touch on a broad range of corporate topics.