The challenges of COVID and the Brexit break-up has disrupted the economic landscape leaving some people feeling uneasy about the future.
But, before small businesses throw in the towel and landlords sell up, Redwood Bank’s Director of Credit and Underwriting, Chris Platt, says resilience is key to riding out COVID volatility.
"Initially, when COVID-19 hit, a lot of customers weren’t sure what it meant for their business and sought support from us and other organisations."
"But once reality set in, they were able to see what their issues really were and plan for the future. Companies need to understand their exposure, vulnerabilities, and potential losses to inform resilience strategies," he says.
He also suggests that now is the time that businesses should be keeping a very close eye on their own cash flow situation.
"Keeping awareness across short and medium-term outgoings and what can be managed against the income that is being received will help keep any potential financial problems at bay," he explains.
However, it would be remiss not to acknowledge that there are businesses and landlords that are struggling at the moment.
"The pandemic has impacted everyone, but some more than others," Chris says.
Chris Platt, Director of Credit and Underwriting
"The advice I have for anyone who is battling to keep their head above water is communicate. Communication really is key. Speak to your customers or tenants, so you can form a clear picture of what the issues are and try to balance that with your own cash flow management and requirements.
"I also suggest talking to your lenders at the earliest opportunity. It’s all about visibility and updating forecasting, as well as keeping it real. Optimism is a great thing to have and we all need it sometimes, but with cash flow and debt management, it’s vital to have a realistic and, in some instances, cautious, view of the future."
When it comes to Redwood, the Challenger Bank has made itself readily available to all its business customers who have been heavily impacted over the last few months.
Chris says: "We’ve been able to provide existing customers with forbearance to deliver both capital repayment holidays and capital and interest repayment holidays. We’ve been there at every step of the way with our customers, helping to support them so they can manage their finances through this difficult period.
"At Redwood, we firmly believe in loyalty, so I recommend that if you need to, please pick up the phone to speak to us today, because a problem shared, really is a problem halved."