Covid19, Pandemic, Resources

COVID-19: Next Steps For Small Business Owners

March 20, 2020 | 4 minutes to read
Summary:  “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. – Alan Lakein Like most people, are you worried about …

 

“Failing to plan is planning to fail”. – Alan Lakein

Like most people, are you worried about how to deal with post-COVID-19 and where to find some direction to help you recover? This article will help you with some directions and dos and don’ts of post-COVID-19.

Businesses plan for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity. These plans involve a set of policies, procedures in place to deal with the recovery of critical infrastructure and systems following a natural or man-made disaster. No amount of planning could’ve prepared most businesses (or even countries) for something like COVID-19.

Coronavirus Crisis

The crisis developed because of COVID-19 is a total failure of multiple (health care, economy, supply chain logistics, etc.) systems, all at the same time. Before and after pictures of some of these systems are so dramatically different, it’s not even recognizable!

Following are some of the KPIs of the US stock and job market weeks before COVID-19 became a part of our daily conversation. Dow Jones was at its highest at 29,551.42 on Feb. 12, 2020, the national unemployment rate was 3.6%, a record low in the last 50 years.

By some estimates, the US was a $22 trillion economy at the beginning of the year 2020. These numbers represented high consumer confidence, a stable market, and steady job growth.

Economic Impact

World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel Coronavirus as a pandemic on Mar-11-2020.  As of March 23rd, the Dow Jones is hovering at 18,591. The US is into the third week of Social Distancing. In the last two weeks, many large and small companies have laid off their non-essential workforce and over 3.25 million people have filed for unemployment benefits.

If the numbers are anywhere close to Mr. Mnuchin, the United States secretary of the treasury, the unemployment numbers are projected to hit 20% by the end of this year.

So, just in four weeks, a lot has changed with our lives in the US. It’s just not the economy, life as we know it, whether it’s the healthcare, business, travel, social norms, everything has changed, and the changes are significant.

So, whether your small business had a plan to deal with a catastrophe of this magnitude or not, here are some tips that you can use to kick start the recovery of your business. It’s also important to be aware of the scammers and hackers who want to take advantage of desperate individuals and businesses seeking help.

Where to Find Economic Recovery Help?

As I mentioned at the top of the article, this COVID-19 is a severe crisis. It’s a crisis, unlike any other, the world has ever seen or dealt with before. So, the govt. at both federal and state-level are working on helping all businesses (large and small) towards financial recovery. Here is a list of such govt. assisted recovery programs and how & where businesses can get help.

    1. Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
      https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
    2. Resources to Help Your Small Business Survive the Coronavirus
      https://www.uschamber.com/co/start/strategy/small-business-resources-for-surviving-coronavirus
    3. Coronavirus Stimulus Package Questions
      https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-stimulus-package-questions-answers.html

Where To Get Mental Health Help?

If you, your employees, and your family members are feeling stressed or anxious, you are not alone. With more questions than answers, economic uncertainties keeping the sanity in check is difficult. Here is a list of some resources to help you get through these tough times.

  1. Coping up with the stress
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/coping-with-coronavirus-anxiety-2020031219183
  1. Coronavirus anxiety
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html

Are there Other Helpful articles for Individuals and Business Owners?

If you are an individual or a business owner who lost a significant part of your income either because of job loss or lost business, there are some tips to help you manage your debts, credit history and such. The following articles are some resources where you can find some information on how to run your business during a time like this or protect yourself financially

  1. https://www.thebalancesmb.com/business-thrive-tough-economy-2948298
  2. https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/protect-yourself-financially-from-impact-of-coronavirus/

How To Stay away From Fake Vaccines, Fake drugs, Scammers and Hackers?

Unfortunately, a tough situation like this provides an opportunity for some bad people to take advantage of the vulnerable and helpless of society. In the last few weeks, a significantly high number of scams (both offline and online) reported.

Individuals and business owners are facing significant financial loss and issues. They don’t need more problems on their list! Being aware of these scams may help you stay ahead of some of these scams and reduce the chance of incurring a further loss.

Always seek professional help. Stay away from FB and WhatsApp groups, etc, for advice on cures and remedies for Coronavirus. Subscribe to reliable and authority sources like Harvard Medical, John Hopkins Hospital, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and State and Local authorities on the updates. As of Mar/25/2020, there was no confirmed cure for COVID-19. Here is an article about such scams, Fake Cures for Covid-19 and Robo calls falsely offer free coronavirus test kits

Social Distancing guidelines and Shelter in Place orders from several state governors forced many employees to working from home. Unfortunately, this has provided an excellent opportunity for hackers to break into many business networks. Here is a list of reported Phishing and online scams by hackers.

  1. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/20/phishing-spam-spike-as-hackers-use-coronavirus-to-hit-remote-work.html
  2. https://about.att.com/pages/cyberaware/ni/blog/virus_scam

Rising Every Time We Fall

Now, it is an ideal time to remember a great quote from Confucius. “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” If your post-COVID-19 situation feels like a setback, you are not alone. There’s no point in dwelling over what you could’ve done to avoid it. It’s essential to move forward.

About the Author

Krishna Murthy, Marketing Manager at WSI, is a Digital Growth Consultant, Photographer, Travel Enthusiast, Software Engineer who is continually working on building a better marketing campaign for clients!

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