It is clear that the COVID-19 crisis is, in reality, two crises. There is the health crisis of the pandemic, and then there is the economic crisis resulting from the shutdown of huge parts of the economy.
One can’t help but marvel at the courage and dedication exhibited by our nation’s healthcare workers. The doctors, nurses, aides and respiratory therapists fighting on the front lines are a source of inspiration for us all.
The full extent of the unfolding economic crisis may not be known for some time, but it is no less devastating than the health crisis. How long will the shutdown last, and how pervasive will it become? The Federal Reserve has shown a commitment to pulling all the levers at its disposal to help businesses and individuals deal with the economic fallout. Although the current impasse in Congress is disheartening, by the time you read this, both sides will probably have managed to pass a fiscal stimulus package that will dwarf the 2008 TARP program. If the fiscal stimulus is in the neighborhood of $2 Trillion, and enough of it is directed to small businesses and consumers, then perhaps the U.S. economy can snap back sooner rather than later.
We at Dunn Lambert intend to do our part to help you navigate the economic crisis. Each business and industry will be uniquely affected, but here are some of the questions that you may face in your business in the coming weeks and months:
- Are employees allowed to come to work?
- What are the employer’s obligations to employees who are coming to work?
- What about employees who are unable to come into work?
- Does COVID-19 constitute a “force majeure” event?
- When should a business issue a “force majeure” notice? How should you respond if you receive one?
- If a supplier is unable to fulfill all orders for its products, should it allocate products among its various customers? If so, how?
- Corporate Governance/Succession Planning
- Should my privately-held company have a functioning Board of Directors or Board of Advisors?
- Should I update my succession plan to identify individuals who could fill the roles of key executives who are out of work due to COVID-19?
- Mergers & Acquisitions/Buying and Selling Businesses
- I am a buyer with an agreement to acquire another company. Does COVID-19 constitute a material adverse change that would give me an “out”?
- I am a seller thinking of entering into a Letter of Intent for the sale of my company. What should I be thinking about?
- Taxes, Loans and Grants
- What are the latest federal and state tax law developments affecting my business?
- What federal and state loans and grants might my business qualify for?
- Litigation and Dispute Resolution
- How are state and federal courts in New Jersey and New York handling the crisis?
- Should I be considering other ways of resolving my commercial disputes?
Whatever business and legal challenges you are facing in your business, Dunn Lambert attorneys are standing by to assist you with all of your COVID-19-related questions.