These are strange, unpredictable, and sad times. We have been quickly forced to find new ways to work and live; necessity continues to be the mother of all invention, and this time will be no different.
For Beringea, some of our best investments have been in businesses forged in times of stress. With 35 years of experience investing in scaling companies in both the U.S. and UK, we have our eyes on not just the months but the decades to come. Whether finding new ways to socialize or more efficient ways of working, creating new methods of access for products we never knew we needed, or developing rapid and radical responses to healthcare crises, many innovations created during this pandemic period will find a permanent new market.
We are very much open for business and receptive to reviewing new deals (and with no commute time, there are plenty more hours in the day!). Please send your business plans to email@example.com (in the UK) and firstname.lastname@example.org (in the U.S.).
This is also a time where a close relationship with our portfolio management teams and founders is vital. We will be practical, act fast, work with empathy and compassion, and share best practices. There will be difficult decisions for CEOs to make, and we will do our best to provide support and guidance where we have expertise. For now, we are advising our portfolio company managers to:
- Reassess headcount, freeze hiring, and curtail travel and professional development spending.
- Evaluate capital spending and variable overhead. Examine supplier and rent contract terms for payment extension or reduction opportunities.
- Reconsider sales forecasts, particularly for the next two quarters.
- Stay in daily contact with your investors and advisors, providing them a daily dashboard of relevant metrics ideally.
Take advantage of state and federal resources such as:
- SBA loans: up to $2 million for companies with less than 500 employees. Interest rate for small businesses 3.75%; interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
- Michigan Small Business Relief Plan
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act — More details on the final provisions relating to paid sick time, the emergency leave, and tax credits can be found here from UHY Advisors.
- 90-day federal tax payment deferral — Read UHY Advisors’ final detail breakdown here.
- Covid-19 unemployment benefits: State of Michigan; State of Illinois; State of Wisconsin
- Expanded telehealth benefits for Medicare beneficiaries and health plans. Many insurance companies and providers are temporarily waiving virtual visit fees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check with your individual health insurance plan for coverage. The global leader in virtual care, Teladoc Health, has compiled useful COVID-19 information and telehealth information here.
- Google has compiled a list of COVID-19 information and resources here.
*as of March 24, 2020