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Precautions , Helping your Business Survive and COVID -19

The Corona virus or COVID 19 crisis has exploded on all of us like a bomb. Hopefully, we are all following the commonsense precautions to protect our health and the health of our loved ones. New Jersey is one of the hardest hit states. I know we will re-open slowly and hopefully safely.  Until then, have a plan to work through the slow sales, decreased cash flow and the need to stay in or to re-open a business.

While we wait and see what the full economic damage will be to our businesses and personal finances, I recommend thinking through the priorities of keeping your business operating while complying with New Jersey Governor's Orders to cut back on non-essential employees, traveling and maintaining social distancing. 

We cannot predict what the 'new normal' will be once the contagion passes,when  any governmental financial help begins to work for you and your business improves..

Here are some options and suggestions to help stay in business and keep your personal finances under control:

  • Conserve cash in your business for what makes you able to operate:

    Have some cash on hand and having access to your credit lines to keep the lights on key employees paid, vital insurance coverage, rent or mortgage and lease payments.
  • Speak to your vendors and let them know early on about your cash flow struggles. No doubt they are having their own problems.They may want to preserve your relationship and keep you as a customer. 

  • Think about your vendors problems as you would your clients' problems. How can you keep in business and keep the relationship going?

  • For Landlords and Tenants.

  • Landlords and tenants are having to cope with New Jersey Courts have suspended trials of landlord tenant cases as of 4/24/2020 unlit further notice but will try to resolve disputes over rent, conditions and other issues remotely. Evictions are suspended until the courts reopen fully.

  • Speak with your landlord about giving back some space you do not need and ask for rent concessions or reductions in common area maintenance or CAM charges. 

          If you are a landlord or a tenant, we can provide guidance on many problems.

  • Cash Management

  • Prioritize who needs to be paid. Your unsecured creditors should be told to wait for payment. Be truthful to them if you cannot pay currently. If they survive, they will want to help you remain in business

  • Make frugal but smart choices that will not cause problems later.

    • Emailing is less expensive than regular mailing or delivery or express services.

    • Defer purchases except for critical supplies. Keep your critical computers, routers and other vital equipment in service.

    • Defer tax payments except for payroll and sales taxes. These taxes are never dischargeable in a bankruptcy case.

  • Consult with an attorney or accountant experienced in helping businesses and individuals operating and battling through financial difficulties. Think about the minimum amount of cash you need to get through the next 60-90 days both at home and at work.

  • Learn what your business interruption insurance will cover. Your insurance agent should be able to tell you.

  • Contact the Small Business Administration for financial assistance now available for small business owners. These can include working capital loans at low interest rates payable over a long term. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the state agencies are there to help. 
  • A Success Story

  •  A pair of health care professionals were in my office discussing cash management with an SBA representative when the federal and state governments announced New Jersey's eligibility for low cost financing to help their practice stay open and to reduce their overhead expenses including servicing over $300,000 of debt. I had them apply over the weekend and in two weeks they received an approval and await funding once the loan documents arrive. Their monthly payments will be cut back by at least sixty per cent once the loan re-financing is in place. They  will keep  operating and paying down debt. They will save $5,000 per month in operating costs and payments on high interest rate loans.
  • Always talk to those you owe money to

  • Call your auto, home and other mortgage lenders and ask for 60-90 day deferments for monthly payments and discuss how to get current if your business or job gets back to a new, reliable normal and stream of earnings. These are forbearance. Yous till owe the money and must pay it back.

  • We have lists of contacts we can provide to you.

  • Careful about asking for a Forbearance. Know what you are getting into.
  • Be wary of forbearance. The forbearance means you must pay the missed payments back in a ''lump sum ' when the forbearance period expires.Deferrals or moving the  missed payment to the back end of the loan may work better for you. If your home mortgage is insured by the United States or one of its agencies such as the FHA, Freddie Mac , Fannie Mae, you may be able to negotiate a deferral or a mortgage modification. They rules say you must be contacted and offered mortgage assistance to keep you in your home. This must occur at least one month before the forbearance period ends.

  • My office keeps a list of contact websites and numbers for many secured lenders and mortgage services. We have the ability to help you get out of expensive auto payments and leases and help you find reliable alternative cars and trucks.

  • How we can help you stay in business 

  • If you want to discuss how best to manage your business or personal finances, we have the resources to help you and can direct you to others when we can't help.
  • If you believe you must consider bankruptcy or other alternatives to help keep your home, car, clean up your debts or to restructure your business I invite you to contact us. Our first one hour consultations are free.
  • Stay healthy. Stay focused. Stay in business. Stay in your home.


Initial meetings with an attorney should be more than a “meet and greet” session. Often, real progress toward a possible solution can be made. Your first consultation with Bill Wolfson is offered free of charge. We invite you to schedule it today so that you can get immediate answers to your most pressing questions.