• FAMILY BUSINESS OWNERS: As COVID-19 lock-downs are released and ‘restart’ commences, it’s more than ever critical that operating strategies are consistent with business Goals & Objectives, and are reality-based in today’s New Normal. This encompasses everything you think you know and don’t know, but also factors that you can’t know you don’t know. Smart business leaders recognize & appreciate that guidance and oversight from expert perspective not only leads to optimizing productivity & profitability, but as well to long-term stability and survival. For family-controlled businesses, this includes a ‘succession’ plan that allows members to get the experience they’ll need when the time comes. DCG have decades of expertise in guiding startups, emerging & mature companies in development and structure to achieve their Goals. Call us for courtesy counsel to ensure your reality check doesn’t bounce.
  • OVER A THIRD OF U.S. EMPLOYEES ARE NOW WORKING REMOTELY FROM HOME, and several studies suggest that perhaps 10% will continue doing so after the coronavirus lockouts end, as corporate execs have recognized increase in productivity, in addition to savings on office space, parking & commute allowances, plus likelihood for better staff retention during child-rearing years. The trade-off for employees however, in return for saved commuting time/hassle/flexibility, is that “not having to show up to work means never getting to unplug, since telecommuting has blurred the start and end of working hours.” Certainly, some changes in digital habits will outlast the lockdowns that caused them, as internet traffic has pivoted majorly to business and learning sites (mostly from online dating), although “traffic to gambling & pornography sites has remained flat.” [ECONOMIST – 4/18/20]
  • FOR THOSE WHO DO RETURN TO OFFICES, almost certainly things will work differently. Changes for many are expected to include: (1) Fewer ‘Open Offices’ – hoteling employees without assigned seats; (2) ‘Socially distanced’ desks; (3) Required co-working done by visual meetings in Gallery view; and (4) Continuous check-ins to maintain morale. [BUSINESSWEEK – 4/20/20] AND, FOR THOSE RETURNING TO RIDE-SHARING, be aware that infestation of ride-sharing vehicles is substantial. Viruses live on door handles, armrests and seats. Responsible drivers presumably do their best to sanitize nightly, but unlikely can do so between daily rides. It’s safest to be wearing gloves and carry sanitizers when using Uber or Lyft, and consider both a hot shower plus putting clothing into a high-heat dryer for up to an hour when you get home.
  • MILLENNIALS ARE “FACING THEIR SECOND ‘ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME’ DOWNTURN at a critical moment, now entering peak-earning years in the midst of an economic cataclysm more severe than the Great Recession… The 2008 economic crisis put them on a worse lifetime-earnings trajectory and blocked them out of the asset market; this second pandemic crisis is now sapping their paychecks… Millennials already have less money to invest, own few houses to refinance or rent out or sell, make less money with less benefits, and have over a half-trillion dollars of student loan debt, besides hefty rent and child care for some 20-million kids who rely on them.” The coronavirus crisis has added insult to injury as cash flow and future potential are rapidly evaporating — millennials are “disproportionate holders of the kinds of positions disappearing fastest, making up a majority of bartender/restaurant workers and a large share of retail, gig & contract workers. In this pandemic crisis, half of workers under age 45 have lost a job, been put on leave, or had hours reduced… near guaranteeing that millennials will be the first generation in modern American history to end up poorer than their parents.” [THE ATLANTIC – 4/13/20]
  • RE: COMMERICAL TENANT LEASE PAYMENTS: Many California cities & counties have enacted ordinances prohibiting eviction of businesses “who are able to demonstrate that their inability to pay rent is decline in revenues caused by the pandemic. But lease obligations were not ‘deferred’…and none of the ordinances abate the rent obligation; they simply preclude eviction for a period of time… Each situation depends on unique circumstances, including Lease terms… and most require objective proof of inability to pay due to COVID-19 reasons, or eviction protections don’t apply. Documentation will likely require financial records for at least the last year and current impact… Be aware that non-payment is still a ‘default’ and allows the landlord other remedies, including application of security deposit, draw down on a letter of credit, and making claims against guarantors for unpaid rent.”   [COX CASTLE NICHOLSON ALERT – 4/21/20]
  •  THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: “Being ignorant is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

     “Google says it saw more than 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19 scams just in the past week. That’s on top of the more than 240 million daily spam messages it sees related to the novel coronavirus. [THEVERGE – 4/18/20]