As the coronavirus outbreak continues, small businesses face tough decisions. Decisions like whether to stay open, how many employees to schedule and, above all else, how to protect customers don’t come easy—and they could make or break a fragile business. In these uncertain times, there is no roadmap, but there are resources that can point your business in the right direction.
The medical experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are on the front lines of the outbreak. Based on these experts’ knowledge and observations, the CDC has compiled a handy one-pager called Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers. This page offers information specifically tailored for businesses and employers that have to make tough decisions about their operations. Recommended strategies include emphasizing and maintaining your flexible sick leave policies, encouraging sick employees to stay home and routinely cleaning all frequently touched surfaces. Read more recommended strategies and check for continuing updates www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.
Federal Disaster Loans
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is known for its flexible and useful lending programs—especially in times of crisis. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, SBA has redoubled efforts to administer its Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. Working with state governors, SBA will fund low-interest loans for businesses and non-profit organizations that have been severely impacted by the outbreak. Loans may total up to $2 million and provide targeted, short-term support to help borrowers compensate for revenue losses caused by the virus. Learn more about the Disaster Loan Program at www.sba.gov/disaster.
The Small Business Community
The future is uncertain for all businesses, but it may be comforting to know how other small businesses are managing the situation. Some have temporarily shut their doors, while others are scaling back in smaller ways. Some communities have come together, pooling their resources and building a coalition of volunteers to help where they can. In this ever-changing environment, every small business owner has to make the right decision for his or her individual business, but peers may have creative solutions that can make the storm easier to weather. Now more than ever, it’s important to come together as a small business community.
Independent We Stand and #SmallBizStrong
During this time of chaos, small businesses have an opportunity to make their voices heard. Independent We Stand will share encouraging messages and content across its social media channels throughout the outbreak. Follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and share your stories with #SmallBizStrong. Additionally, small businesses can download free social media graphics to help spread the word.