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Coronavirus: What small businesses can do to prepare

The spread of coronavirus has understandably left many on edge—and many small business owners wondering what, if anything, they should be doing. What can they do to prepare? What should they do to respond to employee concerns today? What will they need to keep in mind if the virus spreads to their own place of work tomorrow?

We at 3C understand and share these concerns. We would like to provide some resources that small businesses can use to prepare and keep their employees and customers as safe as possible.

A good place to start is with a recent USA Today column with 5 things small-business owners can do to respond to coronavirus fears.

We encourage all small businesses to follow this motto: Plan, Don’t Panic.

Of course, you want to ensure that your employees are keeping themselves protected—or, if they or a family member has already become ill, getting better. The American Red Cross has produced a safety and readiness brief that will help Americans get prepared today.

The CDC has a list of practical tips for both you and your employees on how to keep the physical workplace as healthy as possible. These range from using common sense (stay home if you’re sick) to the less obvious (create reminders to avoid touching your face).

Still, many small businesses will want to find ways to facilitate greater telework options for their employees. The good news is that there are a range of digital tools and resources that provide greater flexibility for connecting virtually rather than in-person. Check out Facebook’s Business Resource Hub for a list of digital tips and tools to consider along with practical resources like toolkits on how to build a resiliency plan and how to plan an emergency response and minimize downtime.

If you do anticipate moving to a more remote structure, then you will also want to make sure you have a smart plan in place to ensure the safety and security of your files and networks. This piece has some great advice on how to keep working as seamlessly as possible remotely. 

This is a difficult and confusing time for many in the small business community. The full extent of the problem is not yet known. Beyond the obvious health risks, the potential economic impacts will leave many businesses worrying about what the future will hold. While no one can predict the factors outside our control, there are many smart and practical things we can all do today to prepare and set a stronger course for the road ahead.

Following health and safety guidance from the CDC is the most important action small businesses can take. Utilizing available digital tools can offer many great ways to limit the disruption. We encourage all small businesses to look through the resources listed below to develop and implement a plan:

Resources:

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