Your business will be impacted by Covid-19 (the CoronaVirus). A lot of the impact will be out of your control. However, there are things you can do to mitigate the damage your business will experience.
In this article we will share with you steps to take now if you have not done so already.
Know Your State’s Executive Orders
Some states have already closed down many types of businesses allowing only essential services to remain open. Each state will have a list of businesses that are allowed to remain open, those ordered to close, and those who are allowed to be open with limited capacity.
Please check your own state’s mandates and be aware of changes which can affect your business.
You also need to keep informed on local levels if your business is in a city or county in the United States.
Each county can make their own rules in these kinds of emergencies. Each city and town can also make additional rules.
Subscribe to your city and county emergency notifications. Most websites will have a place you can click to receive text or email notifications.
Stay Up to Date About CoronaVirus (Covid-19)
Stay up to date on virus information by getting your facts straight. Don’t spread disinformation and rumors. Fact Check all your information prior to passing it on to your management team and employees.
Use the CDC website- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the most up to date information on the virus:
Keep Your Employees and Customers Safe From the Virus
While there is nothing you can do once your employees are not at work, there are a lot of things you can do to keep them as safe as you can at work.
Employees: make it a rule that they stop what they are doing and wash their hands every 30 minutes.
Washing hands: wash hands for 20 seconds, about the time it takes to sing the ABC’s or Happy Birthday 2 times. Wash hands with soap and water.
Do not allow sick employees to come to work. They can work from home if that is possible for your business.
Limit the number of people working in close proximity to each other. Make sure you obey the confidentiality laws.
From the CDC:
If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19 infection, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The fellow employees should then self-monitor for symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath).
The White House has implemented a plan to slow the spread of the virus. Here is the link to the slideshow of this plan:
Customers: Keep your distance, 6 feet is recommended between people. If you are in a business where you need to touch your customers, consider wearing gloves.
Keep as many items behind your counters as you can. The customers should ask for what they need. It should be handed to them in a safe method. Each business will be different. You will need to come up with your guidelines using the CDC recommendations as your guide.
Implement Policies and Procedures for Cleaning and Disinfecting
Assign a manager to become your hygiene director.
Create clear signage of each of your best practices. It does not matter how many times you say something, people will forget. No matter how simple the directive is, make sure it is visible.
Develop the best practices manual to be available by PDF online for your employees to access. (We can create the PDF files for you and create the text on your signs. All you need to do is print them.)
Limit In-Person Meetings
Look at your meeting agendas. What are you covering in your meetings that could not just as easily be covered by an online meeting?
Move your meetings to virtual meetings.
You can use the following tools to hold online meetings:
- FB messenger for small groups
- Google HangOuts for groups of less than 10 people
- WeChat for small group meetings
- Facebook Live inside of a private group
If you have to meet in person make sure no more than 10 people are gathered in the meeting.
Have the meeting outside in a well-ventilated area.
Increase Your Company Cyber Security
Companies are sending their employees to work from home. The cyber bad guys know this. They are out in full force hacking into websites, servers, and the like.
For cybercriminals this is what they feast on!
Get a good firewall. Contact your company IT division to find out other things you can do to make sure your data is safe.
Increase Security At Your Business
With so many businesses temporarily closing their doors during this pandemic, it is going to be a field day for thieves and burglars.
Now is the time to hire more security guards to protect your premises.
Most of the states, counties, and towns issuing business closures have exempted security and police personnel.
Champion National Security is a security guard company located in over 18 states in the United States.
They offer around the clock security teams including:
Patrol - walking
Patrol - driving
Get a free quote for security services:
Get Relief for Your Loss of Income
Make sure you apply for business relief.
Apply for any business relief you can find for your company and business.
This is going to be a tough time economically for many companies and self- employed people around the country.
Go to the Small Business Administration website to learn more about coming options for your business:
There is a business loan for emergencies such as this pandemic:
Disaster Relief Loan:
This page helps you to figure out who can get a disaster loan,
From that page:
“Small business owners in all U.S. states and territories are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).”
There are large companies like Amazon contributing to local businesses that are around the companies.
“Amazon has donated $1 million to kick-start emergency COVID-19 response funds that will immediately benefit the four largest Washington D.C. region community foundations that are working to support vulnerable populations impacted amid the coronavirus outbreak. The donation will be used to provide resources to organizations working with communities disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak—including hourly workers, people experiencing homelessness, and the elderly. Amazon is also providing additional cash and in-kind support to five food service providers in the Washington D.C. region.
We created a $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund to provide cash grants to Seattle-area small businesses that need assistance to get through economic challenges related to COVID-19. The fund is intended for businesses with fewer than 50 employees or less than $7 million in annual revenue. Businesses with a physical presence within a few blocks of Amazon’s office buildings in the Regrade and South Lake Union areas, that are open to the general public, and are reliant on foot traffic for customers, are eligible for the grants. Additionally, we are subsidizing two full months of rent for tenants in the buildings Amazon owns.
Amazon contributed $1 million to a new Seattle Foundation fund for community members affected by COVID-19. The fund will provide flexible resources to nonprofits and community-based organizations working with those who are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak. Initial grants will support organizations helping those who don’t have sick leave or health insurance, medically fragile individuals, and healthcare workers.”
Check with large companies around your small business to see if there are any funds you can apply for.
Most of all, stay safe!