These companies may be in exactly the same place you are. They all have families and employees who may be your current or future customers. Act on this portion of your payables as soon as you have your cash flow plan completed. Be sure that these allocated funds are not required for payroll or to keep a reluctant major vendor in the supplier mix. Prioritize utilities, insurance, and similar critical invoices. When developing a cash allocation plan for your total package of payables, be sure to recognize utilities and insurances as high priorities.
You must keep the lights on and your risks covered to survive. Talk personally with all of your landlords. Landlords will be very hesitant to permit you to delay your rent payment. Ask with some solid feeling about the importance of this deferral to your recovery plan. Advise the lessors that you will catch up on the rent payments at a certain time in the not-too-distant future. Twelve months will probably be as long as you can reasonably defer one or two months’ rent payments. Ask for what you need for survival. Communicate the reasons for the request and the plans you are developing to transition from a survival mode. Call your banker and ask for loan-payment deferrals.
You may need a ninety-day period with no mortgage or other loan payments. Again, ask for the flexibility you think you need to be able to allocate your limited cash to other uses. Detail out for them the limited cash flow to the priority payments you are establishing. To the extent that government action in desperate times are set up to backstop the banks, ask about these options.