March 27, 2020
We continue to update this information as new updates become available, but should you have questions about any of these government initiatives or programs, please contact your Smythe Partner directly.
Cash Flow Management
Given the current economic uncertainty, effective cash flow management will be critical for the success of many businesses. This will likely involve a combination of:
- Managing working capital levels
- Managing discretionary expenses
- Obtaining additional financing
Working capital management can take the form of:
- Implementing Credit Policies
By implementing credit policies with your customers you can speed up the collection process. This could include requiring upfront deposits, reducing the credit terms or offering incentives for early payment. Always ensure you follow-up on overdue accounts.
- Utilizing a Just-in-Time Inventory System
Unless it will hurt your ability to sell, don’t carry extra inventory.
- Using Credit Terms to your Advantage
Unless they are offering worthwhile incentives, don’t pay your suppliers until it is necessary.
A tool that should be utilized to help with managements’ decision making, is a cash flow forecast. This will help you assess the impact of working capital and expense management decisions, as well as determine whether additional financing will be required.
If you decide that you need to obtain financing (see below), it is likely that the lender will require a forecast as part of the application process.
Obtaining Additional Financing
As part of the economic stimulus package, the Government of Canada is working to ensure businesses have access to traditional financing, from both the government and private lenders.
Among the products being targeted to COVID-19 relief are:
- Working Capital Loans
Funds to provide working capital for the operations, and cover general operating expenses, as opposed to capital purchases or expansions. There are currently programs in place where loans can be approved within 48 hours or may be available without any payments for the first six months.
Interest Free Loans
The Government of Canada announced Friday, March 27th
interest free loans of up to $40,000 will be made available to small and medium sized businesses. The loans will be made available through commercial banks, with government backing. The loans will be interest free for one year, and 25% of the balance is forgivable if the business repays the loan by the end of 2022.
Further details will be added as they become available.
- Term Loan and Lease Payment Relief
Ability to delay payment of principal for up to six months on existing loans.
- Increases to Existing Line of Credit
Financial institutions are providing increases to the borrowing limits on existing lines of credit.
- Purchase Order Financing
Flexible terms are being offered to ensure existing and future orders can be fulfilled.
- Buyer Financing
Export Development Canada is providing buyer financing and direct financing for international sales to ensure Canadian businesses are able to participate in international trade opportunities.
To ease the cost of borrowing, the Bank of Canada lowered its target for the overnight rate by 50 basis points to ¼ percent, resulting in the Bank Rate being ½ percent and the deposit rate being ¼ percent. This brings the policy rate to its effective lower bound.
If your business requires cash flow management or additional financing, please contact your Smythe Partner directly as additional reporting may be required. Our team can match your business with the appropriate product and guide you through the process and provide financial information to the lending institutions.