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Should companies be bailed out? As the Covid spread comes under control we’ve started focusing on aftermath. One of the huge problems about to engulf us is a potential wave of business failures. There will be failures of good businesses that are normally viable and employing tens of thousands of people. For some, it may already be too late, and there are others we will have to let go because their services are out of fashion. But for the vast majority of decent businesses that want to be up and running, paying taxes and employing staff as soon as possible, the outlook appears bleak. There is an adage that explains their predicament: that insolvencies occur coming out of a recession than going in. Now that the economy is open, businesses will soon be entangled in problems with rent or utility bills stemming from the period they were in deep freeze with no revenue. Even if they briefly re-emerge without support, businesses can fizzle. Any government assistance to private firms must be principle-based. The challenge here is to identify between protecting current equity and debt holders versus protecting underlying businesses. In a piece by the same title as this editorial, we discuss why this matters and how a business can be separated from its equity and debt holders. This also happens to be the first post-Covid printed issue of Echelon you hold in your hands. As a small business, it sure feels great to be back and doing what we love to do!

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