Vendor communication best practices and sample letters

Vendor communication best practices and sample letters

Note: The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPP Flex Act) was signed into law on June 5, 2020. The PPP Flex Act extends the availability of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and adjusts certain rules applicable to PPP loans. The information reflected here may therefore be outdated. We are working to update our resources to reflect these updates to the PPP, so be sure to check back soon. Please refer to the latest guidance from the SBA and Treasury to confirm current program rules and how they apply to your particular situation.

Small businesses need your help to survive business challenges brought about by the COVID-19 situation. Effective communication is the key to success.

We have created a mock action plan and sample letters that you can share with your clients to help them communicate with their landlords, lenders, bank institutions, insurance companies, vendors, suppliers, and others.

To help them, you may want to advise your clients that they may be able to obtain a reduction in their rent, outstanding loans, and other expenses simply by reaching out and requesting relief.

Below, please find suggested wording you can share with your clients (an action plan for them to take). These materials are intended to help you. They don’t apply to every business or client’s particular situation, so please review and seek legal advice where necessary.

Vendor communication best practices to share with your clients

Use these points below, in your own words, when you are advising your clients.

  • The COVID-19 situation might affect your ability to pay rent, bank loans, insurance premiums, utilities, or vendors on a timely basis. If you are unable to pay these items, open a line of communication with the company you owe.
  • If you communicate honestly, there is a chance they might defer payment or lower their interest rates, and maintain your relationship in good standing.
  • When writing your letter, use a polite and professional tone, and ask for understanding and time to remedy the situation.
  • Keep it simple and concise. Do not write the same thing twice and edit out any unnecessary information.
  • Stay familiar with up-to-date information about federal, state and local COVID-19 relief ordinances, and provide any required documentation as an attachment to your letter.
  • Sign and date the letter in blue ink. This makes it easier to spot an original letter from a copy if you send a physical letter.
  • Send the original letter to your landlord, bank, lender, or vendor as soon as possible via email or postal mail, and give them a call. Clear communication will help show that you are committed to being an ideal partner.
  • Include copies of any documents that may support your request, such as hospital paperwork, financials, or job/employee termination notices. Make sure to remove or redact any personal information the recipient does not need to see.
  • Keep a copy of all your letters, as well as any correspondence between you and the landlord, bank, lender, utility, or vendor. You might attach copies of your communication as part of future requests.
  • Your landlord/bank/lender/vendors are under no obligation to work with you on delinquent rent/loan payment/premium/other financial obligations. However, they may extend courtesies to you given the current situation that you would not receive otherwise. Communicating early will help them understand your situation.

Be proactive and communicate with all parties involved. The objective of communicating timely is to start a conversation with your business partners.

Effective communication starts now!

Resources:

This content is for information purposes only and information provided should not be considered legal, accounting or tax advice, or a substitute for obtaining such advice specific to your business. Additional information and exceptions may apply. Applicable laws may vary by state or locality. No assurance is given that the information is comprehensive in its coverage or that it is suitable in dealing with a customer’s particular situation. Intuit Inc. does it have any responsibility for updating or revising any information presented herein. Accordingly, the information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research. Intuit Inc. cannot warrant that the material contained herein will continue to be accurate, nor that it is completely free of errors when published. Readers should verify statements before relying on them.