NP Connects brings together leaders from a variety of backgrounds to share real-time perspectives on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Our April 30, 2020 conversation included guests Wendell Davis (SBA), Morgan Nighan (Nixon Peabody), Michele Pfannenstiel (Dirigo Food Safety), Matt Roghair (Piper Sandler), and Effie Stavrulaki (Bentley University).
Watch a recording of the program, or read below for highlights.
Another $300 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) money was made available on Monday, April 27. The Small Business Association (SBA) paced applications of all lenders to make sure there was equal footing. There was a huge deluge on Monday as banks submitted a torrent of applications once the portal was opened. Some numbers:
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin provided guidance that companies receiving over $2 million in PPP money will be audited. Additional guidance and direction are expected regarding consequences if an audit indicates the loan was not necessary.
Most deals within the food and beverage industry are on hold. Large strategic buyers are prioritizing employees, food safety, and their supply chain, but their appetite for acquisitions remains. Deals that were underway, and diligence had been completed are closing. Buyers continue to seek high growth, high quality, differentiated brands.
Existing supply chains were not prepared to accommodate the peaks and drops in demand witnessed over the past two months. Challenges arose in raw materials, production, transportation, and storage.
Looking forward, companies that succeed will reduce complexity, remain agile, and diversify their supply chains. Smaller batch sizes are easier to execute in the face of changing demand. Management should focus on core products, services, and stock keeping units (SKUs)—limit SKUs to in-demand products—and increase the production of key products.
On a larger scale, trends quickly emerging include: