Recap Of SFA’s Business Continuity: Risk Mitigation Planning Webinar Series

Arielle Feger
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on businesses, the Specialty Food Association has launched a free weekly webinar series on risk mitigation planning and business continuity. Each week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the SFA connects with industry experts to assist its members and the specialty food industry with challenges related to the current unsettled business environment. Each webinar is recorded and downloadable in the Learning Center.

In the first webinar of the series, Top Ten Legal Considerations During Unsettled Times, Brian Schneider, Alexandra Romero, and James Westerlind from Arent Fox LLP, SFA’s legal counsel, discuss considerations for voiding or terminating contracts, insurance coverage, OSHA, and employee protection among other topics. View the recording.

Gerber Finance CEO Jennifer Palmer and Director of Development Augusta Melendez address how the current market may be affecting business and how business owners can grow, save, or manage forward. Topics included budget review and worst-case-scenario planning, team and external communications, and realigning marketing efforts. View the recording.

Employment Law and How It is Changing dealt with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which went into effect April 1. The Act allows for paid emergency family and medical leave, as well as emergency paid sick leave provisions for employees and employers. In addition, it includes loan programs and other small business relief programs. Alexandra Romero from Arent Fox LLP addressed key labor and employment considerations for SFA members, including requesting exemptions. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may be exempt from the Emergency Family and Medical Leave and Emergency Paid Sick Leave if “the imposition of such requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as an ongoing concern,” said Romero. View the full recording. 
In another webinar, COVID-19 and Your Logistics Operation, Craig Laughlin, Zipline Logistics’ senior business development representative, speaks about keeping your supply chain moving during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Initially, a lot of stores got cleared out,” said Laughlin, explaining the current market conditions. “There was a consumer surge at the store level, which then has to be replenished from distributors. Now it’s happening at the same time, we’re trying to replenish distributors while they’re trying to replenish grocery stores.”

Laughlin advised companies to analyze their current situation, understand their supply chain limitations, set expectations with consumers and business partners, as well as communicate often and early. View the full recording.

With the passing of the CARES Act, an additional webinar was added to the roster. Led by Arent Fox, the webinar covered topics such as the Paycheck Protection Program, which will provide short-term cash flow assistance to small businesses and other eligible entities to help the companies and employees deal with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The amount appropriated for the loans is $349 billion and the loans are certified by the Small Business Administration and guaranteed by the federal government.

Jeannette McLaughlin, partner at Arent Fox, encouraged business owners to take full advantage of this program, and because the Small Business Association anticipates a high demand for loans, to apply as quickly as possible. Listen to the full recording and view the slides to learn more about eligibility criteria, how businesses can use the funds, payment forgiveness, loan terms, and more. And for more on the new CARES Act, read this story recently published in Specialty Food News.

Additional webinars include Working with Retailers: Tips for Makers During Challenging Times and Habits Die Hard: Pent-Up Demand for Food Experiences in the COVID-19 Crisis. 

New topics are added each week. Visit the SFA Learning Center to learn more and to download recorded webinars.
Posted by Arielle Feger on Apr 10, 2020 1:30 PM America/New_York