Another week has passed and like last time, it feels like we’ve all aged a few years. With the constant ups and downs in the market, drastic changes in consumer behavior, and the Feds passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill, it’s hard to keep up with it… BUT, we need to continue to persevere through these challenging times, maintain our mental and physical health, and show this virus that we can succeed during this pandemic.
In this week’s email, we cover the following topics:
- PPE Stockpiles Running Low & Our NBC News Interview
- The $349B Life Raft For Businesses
- How Crisis Leads To Lasting Innovation
- Digitizing & Protecting Your Supply Chain
- Podcast Episode #078: From Capitol Hill To Leading An $86B Industry
- Podcast COVID-19 Coverage: Now Is Not The Time To Stop
We hope you find today’s email informative and that it adds value to your business. Stay safe and enjoy the read!
We Can Win The War
The human race doesn’t surrender to anything, especially not an enemy we can’t even see. Let’s continue to stick together through these trying times and let’s kill this damn thing. Remain calm, keep your health by practicing social distancing, and support the troops on the frontlines that are saving lives!
NBC News: Combatting The Shortage Of PPE
The Federal Government confirmed that the National Stockpile of PPE materials is nearly empty. State leaders have called for an action plan that clearly lays out what the plan is to get those supplies that doesn’t leave all 50 states trying to outbid each other for the same supplies to help protect the residents of their states. As we mentioned in Week #2’s email, Suuchi Inc. has pivoted during this time to expand much of our capabilities to the production of PPE.
On Wednesday, CEO & Founder, Suuchi Ramesh, spoke with NBC (watch here) to discuss how there currently isn’t a clear path on the best way to service all of the needs across the country. Fortunately, with the countless hours and efforts from our Suuchi Warriors, we’ve been able to support hospitals and other agencies across the country!
We will continue fighting this battle to support the #HealthcareHeroes on the frontlines of this battle. If you are trying to get involved and support your local communities, please do not hesitate to contact our team directly or share this link to preview the PPE available within our network.
Your Business Life Raft Has Arrived & It’s Worth $349B
While some businesses have been able to pivot during this pandemic, others haven’t been so lucky and let’s face it… they NEED help! Fortunately, for all Americans and businesses, the Federal Government has responded by passing the CARES Act that is pumping $2 TRILLION into our economy via checks or direct deposit to Americans making less than $200,000 per year and in the form of FORGIVEABLE loans for businesses.
The much-needed assistance for businesses comes in the two different types of loans, which are as follows:
- Economic Disaster Loan (EDL) – This loan is the smaller of the two, which provides you with a forgivable loan of up to $10,000. This program is up and running so you can explore your options now since it’s first-come-first-serve.
- Find the application here.
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – This program is based on your self-employment or how much you pay your employees. Once approved, you’ll get a forgivable loan in the amount of 2.5 times that of which you make as a self-employed contractor or the amount that you pay your employees. The ONLY WAY to get this loan forgiven is if you spend the full amount on “Qualified Expenses“, which are as follows:
- Qualified expenses for the purposes of loan forgiveness for PPP are payments to yourself, your employees, mortgage interest, rent, or utilities.
- This loan will also be on a first-come-first-serve basis so verify that your bank is participating in the program or find a bank that is.
- Find the application here.
So who is eligible for forgivable loans?
Pretty much any business and even self-employed contractors and gig workers. See below for a full list:
- Self-employed individuals
- Independent contractors
- Sole proprietors
- Not-for-profit organizations
Hopefully, you don’t find yourself in a situation that you need to apply for these programs, but if so, we hope that you found this helpful and that you get the support needed during these chaotic times!
IMPORTANT: Both programs are live so check them out if you haven’t already.
How Crisis Leads To Lasting Innovation
Opportunity lies during challenging times, and during this potential downtime in your business, you can focus on ways to improve your company’s workflows and value proposition through innovation and pivoting. You just have to look at things from a different lens and put in the work required to make it happen.
We’re going to look back to 2003 when the SARS outbreak devastated China’s economy and how Alibaba, which at the time was only 4 years old, managed to blossom out of those trying times. Here is the sequence of events that led to Alibaba becoming an e-commerce giant back in 2003:
- FIRST PROFIT: Alibaba had finally turned its first annual profit in 2002, they had grown to 400 employees, and they were eager to continue to grow, but in the fall of that year, the virus, another strain of Coronavirus, began to spread throughout China.
- PANDEMIC: By 2003, SARS officially became a pandemic and presented a huge challenge to the Chinese economy.
- WFH: By May of 2003, Alibaba had to send all of its 400 employees home since one of their employees had contracted the virus. WFH was definitely not something that companies back in 2003 would do so making this shift felt like a major blow to the 4-year old company… especially since they were a week away from launching their next platform.
- PERSEVERE: It was during this time that Alibaba was preparing to launch it’s eBay of China, Taobao. So what did Jack Ma do? He and his team of executives and developers quarantined themselves in Ma’s apartment to build out the interface for Taobao in order to launch the consumer platform. They worked countless hours to stay on track for the upcoming launch.
- INNOVATION: On May 10th, Alibaba launched Taobao, which during a time where most of the country was sequestered in their homes and since consumers were too afraid to go outdoors, they turned to online shopping.
Because Ma and his team went full force during this time to develop the platform, they were able to build the platform that would skyrocket in China and as of today has over 600 million monthly users. Ma and his team could have backed off during this time and waited for the virus to pass, but instead, they worked their asses off to create something new that would add value to normal consumers, not their typical customers, which at that point had been businesses.
WHAT WILL YOU DO? Like Alibaba during those trying times, we’ve maintained the work ethic and have found ways to innovate within our business model, such as servicing healthcare organizations and government agencies through the development of PPE. Really think about what you can do for your business during this time and know that this too shall pass. How will you innovate during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Digitize & Protect Your Supply Chain In 2020
One way to innovate within your company during this time is by creating a digital footprint of your supply chain. Our team of experts can walk you through how this timing is perfect to begin implementing a new system that will allow for smoother operations when this pandemic passes.
Podcast Episodes To Listen While You WFH
The Suuchi Podcast is our ongoing weekly series where we interview entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and decision-makers to learn their stories of how they got to where they are today. Just by listening to someone’s story and hearing how they faced a certain challenge and eventually overcame it could save you time and money!
WAYS TO LISTEN: Tune in on your favorite podcast app or Podbean!
From The Hill To Leading An $86B Industry
On this episode of the Suuchi Podcast, our co-host, Emanuel, chats with Matt Priest, the President & CEO of the United States’ leading trade association in the footwear industry, the FDRA, or the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America. Matt brings great insight into what’s going on in the industry and sheds light on how trade groups work with brands and retailers to pass or repeal legislation in Washington D.C. that impacts retail.
We discuss a variety of topics on this talk that we truly believe will add value to the end-listener! These topics include the following:
- What is the FDRA and what do they do?
- What major brands and retailers are doing during this time
- Brands pivoting to PPE to fight in this war
- The impact that tariffs and duties have on brands and consumers
- Digitizing the supply chain
- Consumer behavior changes
- Legislation, primarily the $2 trillion stimulus package
- How he went from a late start in Capital Hill to becoming CEO at the age of 31 & becoming the 3rd CEO since FDRA’s inception in 1944
You don’t want to miss this episode! Give it a listen, learn from Matt’s expertise and story, and let’s continue to grow our brands, impact our customers, and reach that next level in your business… even during these challenging times.
Now Is Not The Time To Stop | COVID-19
On this special edition of the Suuchi Podcast, our co-host, Irina, chats with Stephen Rector, Global Retail Consultant and CEO of Bakertown Consulting. They discuss what brands can do during this time of crisis. The key point that he emphasizes throughout the episode is that this is not the time to pause. Brands need to use this time to strengthen their online presence, customer experience and digitize by implementing necessary technology into their operations and supply chains.
Once this pandemic is behind us, having a strong tech stack to help manage the process and an effective customer experience strategy will create key differentiators amongst you and your competitors. The world around us has and will continue to change at record speeds in terms of how consumers purchase goods. Brands and retailers need to be prepared to service their customer base accordingly and working on that strategy now is what will set them up for success.