COVID-19 Economic Impact on the Printing Industry
Updated: March 27, 2020 @ 1:30 PM
Loans and Layoffs
The stimulus bill passed by the Senate and working through the House includes expansion of Small Business Administration loans and creation of the Federal Reserve’s Main Street Business Lending Program, described by the Fed as extending credit to “eligible small-and-medium sized businesses, complementing efforts by the SBA.”
We don’t have the details or confirmation yet. But reports are that the final bill will include loan forgiveness if a company minimizes layoffs.
Why wait for confirmation? Stay a step ahead by drawing on resources such as, “The Coronavirus Crisis Doesn’t Have to Lead to Layoffs,” Atta Tarki, Paul Levy, Jeff Weiss, Harvard Business Review.
The authors make two major points. First, consider all options before resorting to layoffs. What might work? A four-day workweek? Half-time work? Unpaid leave? Furloughing? Temporarily suspending payments into retirement funds? Where might we be able to save before laying off?
Second, ask employees for their ideas. Emphasis that the goal is to minimize layoffs, so we’re looking for ideas “with lower capital requirements, lower risk profiles, proven positive impact on cash flow, higher chances of saving jobs, and so on.” We will not be losing control. Rather, we will be building support for the actions we eventually take and goodwill based on our efforts to keep our people employed. In the authors’ opinion, it will not be a hard sell: “One common misconception is that most people primarily look out for themselves in turbulent times. On the contrary, our experience is that during a crisis, individuals overwhelmingly prefer to make sacrifices if it means that their company can help more of their colleagues keep their jobs.”
Remember, there will be an economic rebound after the crisis — likely a sharp one, given the amount of stimulus Washington and the Fed are creating. Having our workforce intact will position us to participating fully in the upturn.
Andrew D. Paparozzi joined PRINTING United Alliance as Chief Economist in 2018. He analyzes and reports on economic, technological, social and demographic trends that will define the printing industry’s future. His most important responsibility, however, is being an observer of the industry by listening to the issues and concerns of company owners, executives and managers.
Previously, he worked 31 years at the National Association for Printing Leadership. He has also taught mathematics, statistics and economics at various colleges.
Andrew holds a Bachelor’s degree in economics f rom Boston College and a Master’s degree in economics — with concentrations in econometrics and public finance — from Columbia University.