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Apr 17, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has put billions of people on lock down throughout the world and, for all intents and purposes, caused economic time to stop. Financial time, however, continues; the markets still open, loans still accrue interest, and mortgages must still be paid. Private equity and venture investors are concerned and want information. The widespread nature of this pandemic has led many lenders to offer to modify loans in order to protect Canadian workers and the broader economy. These modifications, however, remain at the lender's discretion. As such, proper communication is critical to ensure your access to capital remains open and that you're able to negotiate short-term relief if your business has been materially affected by the pandemic.

Communication with lenders and investors is crucial in times of intense uncertainty and volatility. Lenders are willing to work with business owners they trust and believe will come out from this crisis. Many lenders are offering additional financing to businesses affected by the pandemic, in addition to the economic relief provided to businesses like The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Business Account among other relief programs offered by Government of Canada.

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To protect your relationship with your lenders and investors in these difficult times utilize your network and ask for their help. Recognize that your capital providers are an important part of your network. Communicate regularly with your board of directors, lenders, and investors because they likely have a better perspective on the broader economic picture than any one executive can.

With everything going on, I recommend you to openly communicate with your investors and lenders about where you are, what you are doing, why you are doing it, and what they can expect to see.

Such an open communication will more than help you to run your business more effectively.

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