As more and more states cautiously begin to move toward reopening their economies, small businesses are balancing the pressure to reopen with concern for the safety of their employees and customers. Many states still lack adequate testing and business owners in states like Georgia are worried that state officials’ reopening announcements are premature.
At the same time, small businesses have taken the brunt of the economic hit from COVID-19. According to a recent Veem survey, 55 percent of small businesses report having taken a significant hit to revenue, with four out of five businesses saying that they expect the pandemic to affect them for at least another 12 months.
Thus, small business owners across the country are faced with the question: how do we move forward from here?
If you’re thinking about reopening your small business, here are some ideas to consider on how to do so safely:
- Follow the guidelines: The U.S. Chamber and the CDC have both issued new guidelines to help small businesses determine whether or not they are ready to reopen. According to the CDC, a good rule of thumb is to “only reopen when your business is ready to protect employees at a higher risk of severe illness, including those 65 and older and people of all ages with underlying medical conditions.”
- Put safety first: This includes offering hand sanitizer to both employees and customers, providing PPE to workers, and maintaining social distancing. This list of safety measures can help you keep your business as clean as possible.
- Lean on your digital resources: Digitally-enabled small businesses are staying at the forefront of innovation. By offering expanded delivery options, leaning on eCommerce, and taking advantage of tech companies’ relief resources, small businesses are finding innovative ways to minimize physical contact with customers by maximizing their digital presence.
COVID-19 has changed the course of small business, potentially permanently. Access to digital services and tools is more important than ever – which is why 3C members have sent a letter to governors across the country urging them to support, not restrict, affordable, and accessible digital tools.
Small businesses need all the help they can get to stay on their feet during this uncertain time. Until testing is available everywhere and the economy has recovered, we can’t afford to lose the digital tools that are keeping small businesses open for business.