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Small business owners need to be proactive during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Doing nothing could result in the company filing bankruptcy. There are some things business owners can do to stay afloat. Here are a few steps to follow during these turbulent times.
The Cares Act
Congress passed the CARES act to offer relief to individuals, industries, and small businesses. Small businesses can take advantage of the Act by applying for a loan through the Small Business Administration. The loans can be used to fund payroll, pay the mortgage and utilities, and assist with paying the interest on other loans. Businesses can find help at bswllc.com.
The Act was originally passed in March and amended in April to include more loan funding. Apply through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL). Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees are eligible for advances of up to $10,000. The advances don’t have to be repaid. Here is an EIDL guide.
Use Other Resources
There are many other financial resources available for ailing businesses. Check with your local government for available assistance. The City of New York is offering zero-interest loans of up to $75,000 for businesses. In addition, many organizations are offering grants to small businesses. For example, Facebook is offering $100 million in grants. There is also help available in the form of guidance and advice. Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban gives advice to business owners on social media.
Provide Coronavirus Tests
A business can’t survive without a staff. It’s understandable that some employees are reluctant to return to work. People continue to get sick and die from the Coronavirus. One way to prepare employees to return is by offering a coronavirus test. It will be reassuring to know that everyone is virus-free. Likewise, anyone who tests positive can seek treatment.
Resume Operations Gradually
Businesses should resume operations slowly. Remember, there’s a new normal, and many consumers are still sheltering in place. It’s going to be a while before consumers start doing business at full speed. Start with a small staff and evaluate the company’s needs weekly. Don’t reopen with regular business hours. Rather, start out with a few hours per day. Additionally, use Skype, Zoom, or similar platforms for video appointments.
Take Safety Precautions
Use the recommended safety precautions. Employees and customers need to know they’re safe. Make sure employees wear masks and maintain social distancing. A fever is a symptom of the Coronavirus. Therefore, many businesses require employees to do temperature checks.
Some businesses, like hairstylists and barbers, are regulated by state boards. These businesses must follow reopening guidelines established by the board. For example, salons must practice social distancing. Customers must wait in the parking lot until the stylist texts or calls them into the business. The board can close salons that don’t comply.
Keep the IT Department Ready
The IT department plays a vital role in reopening businesses. The Department is in charge of technology that allows remote employment. Further, they maintain the technology for videoconferencing. The employer may determine that working remotely saves the business money. Have the IT department ready to handle any necessary changes.
The Coronavirus has been devastating in many areas. Hopefully, businesses will be able to recover and keep the economy going. Media pundits say there may be a second wave, so businesses should be working on plans for such an event.