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Small Business Development Center business survival strategies

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Sheryl McGrath, broadcasting from the Small Business Development Center in Spokane, offered resources on business survival strategies that businesses can make use of immediately.  

  1. Reduce expenses: The center is advising clients to objectively assess minimum staffing needs and make the appropriate reductions.  
  1. Cash controls: Eliminate any expenses that are not essential to business survival. 
  1. Stop buying inventory unless you can quickly sell it. 
  1. Contact landlords immediately to discuss reduced or abated rent. Any changes you make would need to be documented in the lease amendment. 
  1. Talk with anyone you are borrowing from for the possibility of loan deferral. Look at your debt load and see if you can restructure your debt to decrease payments. 
  1. Vendor contracts and payments: Talk with suppliers immediately to see if you can delay payments or find other ways to reduce costs. 
  1. Some utility companies are offering rate reductions. Contact your utility providers.  
  1. Seek emergency relief from the state and federal government, the Washington State Department of Revenue and the IRS. 
  1. The center is offering confidential, no-cost one-on-one advising to get the various loans available. Its team is also looking at traditional Small Business Administration loans, express lines of credit and alternative lenders. The team advises against taking same-day loans and urges caution if considering personal loans. 
  1. Check with business interruption and continuity insurance – see what your insurance policy provides. 
  1. Collect all accounts receivable, but try to maintain client relationships for future business because this will pass. 
  1. Take a full inventory and secure as much as possible. Anything perishable can be donated or listed as a contribution for taxes. 
  1. Look at new markets: Does your business have any way to sell products online?  
  1. Communicate: Talk to your customers, your employees, your fellow business owners and your landlords. Focus on collaboration. 

The goal is overall to expand cash flow and survivability.