By Donna Collins, originally published in Buffalo Business First on May 21, 2020, 8:21am EDT Updated May 21, 2020, 8:25am EDT.

VIDEO: Practical steps to reopen and revitalize WNY

Communication with employees and financial and legal experts is key to every company emerging secure and strong from the Covid-19 crisis.

A panel of business experts spoke on an afternoon webinar on May 20, hosted by John Tebeau, president and publisher of Buffalo Business First.

Following is a quick rundown from each panelist addressing the reopening and revitalization of Western New York.

John Cappellino, president & CEO, Erie County Industrial Development Agency: The most important step for any business is communication. Tell your financial adviser your business story. Tell your challenges. And tell how you’re going to overcome those. Banks and agencies such as the ECIDA want to help every business.

Joseph Heim, CFE, CPA, partner, Dopkins & Company LLP: This has been an exercise in diagnose, medicine and therapy and has impacted the middle-market tremendously. Many of those companies had a hard time working remotely. The four-letter word here is cash. Even very profitable companies can run out of cash, so it’s critical for every business to maintain a short-term cash tool with a focus on 13-week flow.

David Murray, partner, Phillips Lytle LLP: Companies must adopt a reopening plan that is focused on safety. That plan must be written and posted prominently. One person in an organization should be in charge of studying the Covid information every day and then communicating with management and employees. 

Mark Rizzo, senior vice president and commercial banking market leader, Wells Fargo N.A.: Bankers are here for their customers. At least once a week, clients and bankers should discuss progress and problems. These days and every day, the focus of every banker is to reach solutions for their clients.