Banks are by far your best source for debt funding. They typically will provide the lowest interest rates and reasonable terms on loans. Your banking relationship may be the critical, deciding factor in a market catastrophe. Having the right relationship with your bank should help you to structure extended terms for loans and to open up a larger line-of-credit to cover working capital needs. In difficult times, the mix of loans and terms may require adjustments to meet your most pressing requirements. A good banking officer will understand the mutual benefit of accommodating your requests when they are based on solid analysis and plans. When banking officers review and assess all of your cash flow planning, they should provide some advice, and can become trusted advisors.
They are risk-adverse so their inputs will be on the conservative side. Just understand that fact and position your requests and interactions accordingly. Bankers will be interested in your analysis of your cash flow break-even point. This analysis may help you to be successful in asking for a change in the terms of any outstanding or new debt. Consider using longer amortizations with balloon payments in five to seven years.
These changes will positively contribute to the cash you will have available for reestablishing your foundation and generating growth. As you craft your survive and thrive plans, search for the optimal combination of funding sources. Banks are your foundation but are not the only source of capital. Do not stop your financing search if your first efforts are not productive. Keep working on your plans until you have some assurance that the cash will be in your hands when you need it to stay on track.