Surviving COVID-19 – A CFO’s Perspective

How to overcome F&B challenges posed by COVID-19

In the first presentation of our “Full-house” Webinar series, Ms Julia Kwok covers the challenges faced by the F&B industry and the strategies that businesses can employ to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Julia, partner at Paloe, has helped manage major F&B chains over the past two decades and has a deep understanding of industry needs.

Most SMEs are faced with unforeseen circumstances brought about by COVID – 19, Ms Julia Kwok, breaks them down into 3 main aspects. Firstly, what are the challenges faced by F&B companies in COVID-19, followed by immediate tasks and strategies that companies can adopt and lastly how companies should develop capabilities to better prepare for the future. 

To survive these challenges, it is imperative to do financial forecasting to evaluate business plans and establish business goals that are both realistic and feasible. Julia also shared on the kind of parameters all SMEs should know to chart a feasible survival plan, such as desired the ideal sales mix, sales per employee and sales per sq foot. Diving deep into the dollars and cents, Julia 

Many more businesses are sure to fail as limited revenue continue to threaten businesses with poor cashflow management. More than rough waters, businesses can expect major shifts in consumer trends post-COVID-19 and need to position themselves to fill the chasm in the industry left by social distancing measures.

How to get term loans to tide over the COVID-19 situation

Among the myriad of challenges COVID-19 have posed for SMEs, the generation of sufficient cashflow to meet operational needs seems to be the most pressing. For the second speaker in this webinar session, we have Mr Janus Lim, founder of Finaqe Group, to share crucial tips to improve your business’ credit worthiness and increase your changes of attaining a term loan.

Most SMEs have faced difficulties in securing loans with their banks. The loan application process is opaque, and banks do not reveal the reasons if application is declined. However, there are key factors well within your control as the manager of your business. Improving your credit bureau score and restructuring your company’s finance operations are two major factors that influence your bank loan approval. Janus guides your through the different aspects of building a good credit rating and provides useful advice on overcoming pitfalls that stifle the loan applications of inexperienced borrowers.

Finaqe Group has successfully helped SMEs with no access to funding options to secure financing options of up to USD$500M. Janus also shared on some insider tips that would help tip the loan in SMEs favour such as having a positive Credit Bureau Score, a strong 5 digits month end bank balance and avoid closing accounts with debt remaining. 

You can also view the extracted learning points from this value-packed presentation in our summary article.


Many interesting questions were posed about financing a business. Janus and Julia both addressed the questions and gave valuable insights into bank loan application and alternative financing.

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