To reopen or not?
Almost all businesses are now facing an uncertain future. Our world today is entirely different than what it was only a few months ago. There are no guidebooks for business owners on how to regain the level of success that they once enjoyed. What we can do is to make the best decision that we can base on the available data that we have.
As the states are reopening, some businesses are ready to open their doors on day one while others are not sure if they will ever do. It is a tough decision with emotional, legal, and financial consequences.
Below are the top five questions that can help you gain clarity and assist with the decision-making process.
1) On the scale from 1 to 10, if money is not an issue, how strongly do you desire to reopen your business? (1 = not at all, 5 = I can take it or leave it, 10 = I have a strong desire to reopen.)
If your answer is from 1-5, it is time to figure out how to close your business and move on with a new career path. Take time to visualize what life would be like for you without your company. Will you be happier in the long run?
2) Was your business profitable pre-COVID?
Unless your products or services are now in demand post-COVID, it will considerably be harder to turn a profit. Do you have a solid strategy and enough cash flow to keep the business afloat until then?
3) How likely do you think your customers will start repurchasing your products in the next 30, 60, 90 days?
If the answer is unlikely, it is possible that the market for your product is no longer relevant. Can you sell other products to the existing customer base or pivot your business?
4) Will your key employees go back to work?
If the answer is no, can your business continue to operate until you hire replacements?
5) Do you have long term contracts with landlords, franchisors, banks, etc. that you can’t terminate at this time?
Contact your attorney to understand your options.
If you decide to reopen, be ready to expect that the revenue will take time to ramp back up to the pre-COVID level, if ever. The social distancing guidelines mean an average of 50% reduction in capacity if you own a brick and mortar business. It is imperative to look at every single expense line item and consider cutting costs wherever possible. Click the link below to download the profitability projection template.
Arizona Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides unemployment benefits to workers not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, workers for hire, workers with limited work history, and others) who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus public health emergency.
PUA provides up to 39 weeks of benefits to qualifying individuals who are otherwise able to work and available for work within the meaning of applicable state law, except that they are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to COVID-19 related reasons, as defined in the CARES Act. Benefit payments under PUA are retroactive, for weeks of unemployment, partial employment, or inability to work due to COVID-19 reasons starting on or after January 27, 2020. The CARES Act specifies that PUA benefits cannot be paid for weeks of unemployment ending after December 31, 2020.
Visit the Arizona PUA website for complete information and to submit a claim here. Applications are accepted starting May 12, 2020.
Need help with getting started?
The PUA application process can be overwhelming and confusing for someone who is not proficient in English. To assist the Vietnamese community in Arizona, we captured the questionnaires in the initial claim application and translated them into Vietnamese to help get you started.