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Knowledgeable Recommendation on Managing Your Greenhouse Enterprise Payroll and Money Stream Throughout a Disaster

Hopefully by now, many of you have crunched the numbers for your business to decide whether it’s worth it for you to pursue loans through the Small Business Administration’s Payroll Protection Program or other funding opportunities made available through the CARES Act.

Even if you have done this, you might be playing the waiting game to find out if you’re eligible for such funding, and if so, when you’ll receive those dollars and what the loan parameters will be. In the meantime, there are bills to be paid, most notably payroll expenses.

Such is the case with many small businesses like yours that are wondering how they can keep paying employees with revenues taking a hit thanks to COVID-19. With no clear timeline as to how long social distancing might last, most business owners are racking their brains to figure out how to manage payroll right now.

Fortunately, FBC, a Canadian-based financial consulting firm that works with farms and other small businesses owners to maximize their assets, has some helpful advice on managing cash flow, payroll, and other concerns during times of crisis.

Maintaining cash flow is particularly difficult when transportation routes are disrupted and customers are staying at home to self-isolate, says FBC’s Jennifer Friesen. However, the importance of sustaining a balance of cash flow is more important than ever.

In a recent blog post on FBC’s website, Friesen shares insights from two business experts in Canada about how to properly take advantage of government programs (the examples are Canadian-based, but the concepts apply to a wider audience), as well as the importance of holding on to cash reserves, communicating and negotiating with suppliers, and planning not just for short-term survival, but for long-term viability.

When it comes to payroll, businesses do have options, though they may have to think more carefully than they usually do about how to keep their staff paid. (The Canadian Payroll Association has a helpful guide on various payroll and COVID-19-related issues). Here are some things to consider from another FBC blog post:

  • Ideally, you want to keep staff on the payroll. While revenues may be falling, if you can afford it, keeping your team might allow your company to discover new opportunities.
  • Consider loans but think carefully about whether to take on debt.
  • If you manage your cash flows properly, then managing payroll will be that much easier.
  • If you are dealing with a smaller team and reduced demand, now’s a good time to reorganize some aspects of the business. That could include putting better payroll software in place.


Brian D. Sparks is senior editor of Greenhouse Grower and See all author stories here.

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