Joe Kelly - Finance Advisor

While the Covid-19 pandemic has brought a wave of extraordinary challenges and uncertainty to Irish businesses, Local Enterprise Office Waterford is providing a wide range of business services to SMEs.  Free HR, digital and finance advisory clinics are available to any local business, regardless of its scale or sector, which needs assistance in accessing support.

Joe Kelly, Financial Enterprise Consultant brings decades of financial experience to his role as mentor with Local Enterprise Office Waterford.  From a career in banking, to Enterprise Officer with Waterford Area Partnership, Joe has worked with SMEs, charities and large organisations in helping them achieve long-term viability.

However, in these unprecedented times Joe has been working extensively with clients on a virtual and confidential basis to help them address the financial challenges of Covid-19.

“This pandemic has brought a whole new set of challenges to businesses on a scale never experienced before.  The reverberations of Covid-19 have been felt in every industry and every sector.”

“For many businesses, the sudden loss of revenue and cash flow with little or no warning has put thousands of businesses under huge financial strain.  For those who have had to lay off staff, reduce working hours or top up salaries with reduced or no revenue has put them in a financial quandary.”

However, Joe advises that there are ways in which companies can mitigate the financial impact and that starts with putting a plan in place.

“Most businesses will need to reach out to their suppliers, lending institutions and creditors, so make sure your financial information is as up to date as possible.”

Joe Kelly

Firstly, create a business plan for the next six to twelve months along with sales projections.  Identify gaps in cash flow and be ruthless with overheads.This may mean getting in touch with suppliers to stretch credit terms or negotiating rent and terms with landlords. Some banking institutions are amenable to loan and mortgage moratorium so get in touch with your bank.

This can, of course, be daunting for any business, particularly as it is against a backdrop of not knowing if, and when business will ever return to normal.  However, there are supports available and Joe advises reaching out to the many organisations that offer support and advice.  “Get in touch with your Local Enterprise Office, local Chamber of Commerce, SBCI, The Office of the Revenue Commissioners or the Department of Social Protection.”

Going forward, companies will need to look at how to innovate the business model given that social distancing may be here to stay.

Joe adds, “It is not possible to predict the future for business but for the foreseeable future we must accept the old normal is gone.  However, business has always had its challenges and if we stand together these present difficulties will be overcome.”

If your business has been affected by Covid-19 and you need financial advice call the LEO Waterford office and a dedicated specialist will get back to you to discuss your business issue. This is a confidential service and is open to all businesses. LEO Waterford will also endeavour to signpost you towards further Government and State agency business supports.

Businesses can also avail of the Business Continuity Voucher, which is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs and can be used by companies and sole traders to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The goal is to help business owners make informed decisions about what immediate measures and remedial actions should be taken, to protect staff and sales.

To book your free virtual consultation, via Skype or phone, call 0761 102905 or email info@leo.waterfordcouncil.ie and a dedicated mentor will get in touch with you.

 

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