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American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) – How the pandemic is affecting the veterinary community

By Ally Yanco

An economy that is declining due to a pandemic is unlike anything we have experienced before, and veterinary practices are being affected like many other businesses across the country. Earlier this month, AVMA released a webinar with insights on how the current pandemic is affecting the veterinary community and the best methods of survival.

Prior to the outbreak, veterinary practices were doing well, with steady and consistent revenue growth of around 6%. Mid-March is when practices began to see a decline in visits, due to stay-at-home orders being made, making pet owners avoid traveling to the vet for non-emergencies. This has caused a decline in services of around 30% in the hardest hitting areas.

According to VetSuccess, larger practices (greater than $1.5M in revenue) have been down more than smaller practices, who only saw a 2% decrease in revenue earlier this month.

With all of this comes the question “how can my business stay ahead?”

Communication

  • Always keep an open line of communication with your customers. Have pricing discussions and explain service options that you can provide during this time. Honesty & transparency for both your customers and your employees is crucial!

Cashflow

  • Understand that this year is tough for everyone, and revenue may not be what was originally expected, but by reducing outflow you can help mitigate that risk. Reduce any expenses that are non-essential, such as renovations, new facilities or new equipment.

Cares Act

  • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act was put in place to help businesses stay afloat during this time. Apply early, and keep your employees and customers protected. Additionally, there are a variety of other resources to help protect your business, including the Paycheck Protection Program, and more.

 

AVMA is providing various resources surrounding COVID-19, check out this link to view other webinars surrounding the veterinary industry in the pandemic.

Sources:

https://vetsuccess.com/resources/covid-19-resources/

https://axon.avma.org/local/catalog/view/product.php?productid=100

https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/animal-health-and-welfare/covid-19


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