April 27, 2020
You are not alone, as we stay strong and stand together
Some four weeks ago all non-essential businesses were closed, after Barbados recorded its first cases of the COVID 19 virus. Subsequently a series of curfew orders and restrictions on business and personal movements have been enforced and are likely to continue a while longer as the country works to manage, control and eliminate the spread of the virus.
The Board of Directors, management and staff of FundAccess are aware that many of you were at various stages of the business cycle prior to this current crisis, whether it was:
- Completing a business restructuring
- Starting to recover from our economic issues
- Winning new projects
or any other activity. Unfortunately, COVID 19 has created turmoil for many micro, small and medium sized businesses and for the families of the owners and employees by extension.
FundAccess recognized early that this crisis was at a minimum going to be two dimensional:
- Healthcare (management of the health risk and caring for the persons contracting the virus.
- Economic (the healthcare protocols would require businesses to close and business activity to cease for some period of time)
As Chairman, I was particularly concerned about the economic and business fallout for all of us and along with management we immediately submitted a plan and request for financial assistance to our parent ministry. Additionally, we agreed internally that we would do the following:
- Contact all of our clients via our Business Development Officers;
- Allow clients facing challenges with payments to be given a grace period of 3 months;
- Continue to maintain contact with clients throughout the crisis;
- Create a recovery plan in consultation with the Ministry and other stakeholders;
We are aware that many in the public domain have lamented the apparent lack of a MSME recovery package being articulated by government, along with no clear statement on loan and other facility moratoria. Let me assure you that we are actively working on solutions for you and will communicate once the relevant approvals are received.
In the meantime, I encourage you to contact our crisis teams or our General Manager as required during this period and to consider the following:
- Reflect on your business strategically and operationally pre-COVID 19 shutdown;
- Finalise and update your accounting records and financial statements;
- Reassess your business now after the four week shutdown to date and note the impact on your operations, employees, finance, supply chains;
- Determine/Craft a post-COVID 19 strategy for your business;
- Ascertain what resources/support you will require to achieve the new/amended strategy;
- Advise your business development officer of your needs and discuss potential sources for the assistance and support including FundAccess.
My hope is that we will collectively use this “downtime” to reflect, re-energise, rest and relax, plan and strategise, so that we can be ready to take our businesses and our nation forward. I trust that you and your families are staying safe and look forward to interacting with you our valued clients in the very near future.