From a health point of view, some countries are following “phase” schemes to remove their economies from quarantine and return them to normal.
It means establishing opening schedules by sectors, gradual, to prevent the population from going out on the street en masse.
Until then, while the isolation by the Covid-19 continues, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs are also adding new “phases”, but in this case negative.
The first was the deterioration of the payment chain; the second, negotiating with employees to pay lower wages; the third, which is already underway, an undercapitalization process.
Sebastián Lescano, a Physical Education teacher from Río Segundo, since 2014 has had a gym in that city that was his main means of life.
He has not been able to open for 45 days and that has led him to publish daily on his social networks photos of discs, dumbbells and other implements he sells in order to obtain money.
It is an example, among many, of small entrepreneurs who begin to make very difficult decisions, but inevitable due to the impossibility of working.
“I have already sold enough things and, luckily, I have been able to replace some of them, but there are others that I will not be able to do. What happened is that the money I had saved to invest in the gym now I had to dedicate to my family When normality returns, I will open with what I have, “says Lescano.
And he adds: “What saved me at this moment was that I was out six months (he was a physical trainer for a women’s volleyball team in Peru, between 2018 and 2019) and he still had some savings. If not, he would be dead and in debt” .
José Arnoletto, in addition to being an accountant (he was president of the Provincial Council of Economic Sciences and treasurer of the Atenas club), also has a gymnasium and affirms that in such a context “the ships begin to finish and one begins to observe what goods can be liquidated “
In any case, he considers that it is a decision that must be taken with great care.
“I am advising my clients that getting rid of a physical asset at a time when our currency is devaluing can be a worse remedy than illness. Because later, when it comes to replacing those goods, it will be very difficult,” says Arnoletto.
According to Arnoletto, another area in which signs of decapitalization are beginning to be observed is in developmental companies. Although it is traditional that in this sector there are payments with “swaps” in batches or in departments to suppliers, he assures that there are cases in which this process is intensifying.
“I have a client who is a supplier and they are proposing to pay him with exchanges in higher percentages than usual. Up to 100 percent of what they owe him, because they do not have liquidity, “says Arnoletto.
Another accountant, Mariano Echegaray, affirms that the bulk of companies that have problems working, because they are not considered “essential”, are focused on obtaining funds to cover the payment of salaries.
This move implies, for example, cutting the payment chain, and negotiations with suppliers also produce situations of decapitalization.
“Several companies are beginning to analyze the settlement and cancellation of debt via delivery of vehicles, machines or shelves. It is already being included in the negotiation package with suppliers,” admits Echegaray.
From his point of view, some items that have negative flow and poor prospects for recovery in the short term will inevitably have to end up liquidating part of their capital.
Even because in many cases, if they resort to administrative or legal means, such as crisis prevention procedures, they will probably have to pay their advisers with vehicles or real estate.
“It will depend a lot on the size of the business. A company with a large infrastructure will surely seek to stretch the negotiation chain with its creditors and dispose of the least possible capital. For the small merchant, the situation is much more complicated ”, considers Echegaray.
Ezequiel Cerezo, president of the Commercial Federation of Córdoba (Fedecom) also agrees: “It is a process that will inevitably take place, especially in the smallest merchants, by liquidation of stock they cannot replace “, he added.
According to Cerezo, the situation is complex and the smallest businesses are decapitalizing because they need to face the payment of their obligations, especially wages.