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By: Mary E. Lopinot

For many seasonal businesses, February and March can be difficult months, particularly in years where bad winter weather might prolong the slow season. Restaurants, landscapers and construction companies are examples of small businesses that often budget for ongoing expenses during their slow seasons, but even the best of planners can be adversely affected by continual bad weather that keeps them off the job site or keeps customers out of their establishments. The recent government shutdown may affect these seasonal businesses even harder through the ripple effect of consumers having less disposable income than usual going into the late winter months.

A seasonal business owner facing the prospect of getting behind or even missing payments to its bank or other creditors can feel helpless in the face of mounting debt and continuing revenue problems. We often hear the phrase, “If I can just make it to March or April…” when dealing with clients behind in their loan payments or struggling with vendors. In this situation, the most important thing a business owner can do is maintain good relations with their lender/vendor. Keeping your promises, taking reasonable efforts to generate new or additional cash flows, and responding to your creditor’s contact attempts are all key to negotiating the extra time that you need to get to the spring and start generating positive cash flows from your business. For those businesses with particularly challenging creditor problems during this period, knowing your legal rights in dealing with the creditors can make all the difference in reaching a workable resolution with creditors. Likewise, understanding that your creditors also have an interest in helping you make it to the busy season can result in a solution that lets both of you focus on getting through the slow season. Our firm can help you deal with these problems and negotiate with your creditors—just give us a call.

Professional Services Disclaimer: Please note that the information presented here is as an educational service, and while it contains information about legal issues, it is not legal advice. No warranty is made regarding the applicability of the information presented to a particular client situation, and the information set forth is not a substitute for original legal research, analysis and drafting for a particular client situation.