Fastsigns CEO offers COVID-19 business advice

FASTSIGNS franchise
FASTSIGNS More than fast. More than signs.

Specialised in selling, marketing, producing, or installing visual communications including signs, graphics, banners, flags, vehicle graphics, vehicle wraps, and others

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Fastsigns CEO and International Franchise Association chair Catherine Monson has provided helpful advice for struggling businesses.

Monson admitted her signage franchise Fastsigns has suffered as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Suddenly — but understandably — demand for [our] services has dropped. Our business isn’t alone. I am also the chair of the International Franchise Association, and in the past weeks I’ve watched the small businesses that make up the franchise industry struggle with dwindling sales due to this unforeseen economic crisis.”

To help protect businesses in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, Monson proffered three tips: secure liquidity, ensure access to capital and engage with policy-makers. To achieve the first point, small businesses should take advantage of schemes being rolled out across the world and advocate for additional ones. For example, the Small Business Workforce Stabilisation Fund in the US would encourage the treasury to ignore financial liabilities in small businesses which were solvent before the crisis.

When it comes to ensuring access to capital, Monson has her own suggestion. She says the proposed $300 billion Restoring Economic Security, Confidence and User Endurance (RESCUE) Businesses Act of 2020 would help companies stay on top of their finances. Under this legislation, the Small Business Administration would guarantee 90 percent of loans and waive fees for a year.

Finally, Monson called for small business owners to engage with policy-makers and urged entrepreneurs not to let large corporations do all the talking. She said:

“Social media, letters, email, phone calls are all effective ways to engage. The method is less important than the message, and the message is this: small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and economy; we need relief in the midst of this crisis.”

You can read Monson’s full statement in the Harvard Business Review here.

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