We hosted a packed panel of experts to help answer entrepreneurs’ questions about the right financial relief programs to help support them through the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery.
Joining our CEO Christina Fox were Jean-Philippe Pepin from BDC, Jeff Keats from EDC, Joel Adams from Innovation Canada, and Gus Kotsiomitis and Agnes Olendrzynska from RBC, bringing a range of expertise and experience with private and public financing options.
Check out the video above, the five key takeaways from our five great panelists below.
Jean-Philippe Pepin says that there are three things that all business owners should be doing right now: redefining priorities, developing/refining your cash flow plans, and estimating your working capital needs. And make sure you are developing multiple plans on multiple timelines. You can plan for six months ahead, but what if your recovery takes longer? Be prepared!
Jeff Keats recommends talking to all of your advisors, with all of your financial partners, to make sure that the relief programs you are seeking out best suit your needs. What’s right? The devil’s in the details, but the go for the grants first, if possible.
Joel Adams explained that the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) was created to cover gaps in other funding programs, so companies with limited revenues or who are pre-revenue can still qualify. The RRRF program includes two options: partially-forgivable interest-free loans of up to $40,000, and fully-repayable, interest-free loans of up to $500,000, even if you’ve already received support through other government supports.
Joel also recommends connecting with TechAlliance if you need help, and we agree!
Gus Kotsiomitis recognized that new opportunities will open up, as our economy rebounds, due to changing customer patterns, and you’ll want to be ready to meet your customer’s new needs.
He also stressed that whatever your plans to reopen your business, the health of your employees and customers should be paramount. We recommend checking out The Minery’s Back to Business Health and Safety Audits to make sure you’re taking all the right steps.
Agnes Olendrzynska emphasized that whatever support program or loan application you are planning to make, understanding that the right amount of funding is key, especially if you will be taking on additional debt.