Sun | Jan 23, 2022

Growth & Jobs | Businesses must seize opportunities to reposition operations – JN Bank executive

Published:Tuesday | March 16, 2021 | 12:18 AM

Ryan Parkes, chief of business banking at JN Bank, has said that despite the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the cash flow of many local businesses, recovery is imminent. He said small business owners must now seize the opportunity to reposition themselves to grow going forward.

“We believe that there is light at the end of tunnel, and that we have past the worst. Once the Government continues to administer the vaccine, we can slowly recover from this crisis. The outlook is quite positive, and, in fact, a lot of businesses can now take advantage of the growing opportunities,” he remarked.

Parkes, who was addressing the JN Fund Managers and JN Bank virtual financial seminar, which was held under the theme ‘Unlock Your Potential & Enhance Your Wealth – Refresh and Remain’, advised that there are several steps businesses can pursue to re-emerge stronger post COVID-19:

These include:

• Preserving liquidity and cash flow: Businesses will need to reserve their cash in order to survive and “ride out” the pandemic, says Parkes. “In surviving, you may want to look at whether there are certain major capital expansion programmes that could be delayed or shifted until there is a clearer indication as to when we’re likely to recover.”

• Remove cost structures: Business owners should minimise their costs/spending as best as possible, given the fact that revenues, in a lot of cases, have been adversely impacted by the economic effects of the pandemic.

• Pivot/adjust: Parkes said business owners must seek to pivot or quickly realign their business models to be able to focus on other areas, services or products that are in greater demand at this time, until the market has fully recovered.

• Take advantage of available stimulus packages: The minister of finance, Nigel Clarke, in his Budget presentation, outlined details of the SERVE Jamaica programme, which is aimed at assisting and supporting micro, small and medium-sized businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. Parkes advised that businesses should take advantage of these opportunities, as well as those being offered by financial institutions, such as JN Bank.