‘Hell is here’ — ‘Shark Tank’ investor Herjavec’s mandate for small businesses ‘is survival’

Written by on March 20, 2020

Robert Herjavec, cybersecurity entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” investor, told CNBC on Friday that his directive to small businesses is to do whatever it takes to survive the coronavirus crisis.

Herjavec argued he would take hedge fund manager Bill Ackman’s “hell is coming” warning on Wednesday to the next level, saying that “hell is here.”

The Herjavec Group founder and CEO said on “Squawk Alley” that his “mandate for every small business is survival,” adding that “companies are drowning every single day” as many parts of the economy come to a complete halt.

“For most businesses, you’ve got to make the really tough decisions that allow you to survive until ‘tomorrow,’” he said. “If the business does not survive, there’s nothing to bring employees back to. There’s nothing to have customers with.”

Herjavec said he’s operating on a day-to-day basis, saying his “long-term” planning is one week. Businesses cannot last making zero money, he added.

“This isn’t going to be done in a week or two. Make sure you prepare that this is going to be a month, two months, three months potentially,” he said.

Herjavec said the government is acting very quickly, but he’s not sure the broad stimulus plans being discussed are going to keep small businesses afloat.

Herjavec, who owns stakes in many small and medium sized businesses, said he’d like to see the government forgive business taxes and rent. His “Shark Tank” portfolio includes Tipsy Elves ugly holiday sweaters and Happy Feet slippers.

Earlier on CNBC, famed restaurateur Danny Meyer echoed Herjavec’s concerns, just days after laying off around 2,000 of his Union Square Hospitality Group workers.

Meyer, also the founder Shake Shack, said on “Squawk on the Street” that he must remain solvent so when the coronavirus outbreak ends he’s able to rehire his team. USHG’s New York City restaurants include Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern and the Modern.

Meyer, like Herjavec, was hopeful that there’s going to be a future for his company after the virus.

Herjavec said, “This is going to end one day. The world is going to come back.“

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank,” on which Robert Herjavec is a co-host.

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