The coronavirus: What to do to save your small business

By Samantha Higgins

The coronavirus or COVID-19 is a serious pandemic that is not only threatening people’s lives but many people’s livelihoods. People are worried about their businesses. The following are a few steps you can take to help you save your small business before it’s too late.

Work from home

One smart decision companies can make is establishing a work-from-home policy. Granted, this is not something every business can do, but there are some who can do this. And with stay-at-home orders in place in many places across the nation, you may have no other choice.

Invest in establishing an infrastructure that can support this type of move, and make sure some of your employees can work remotely. Taking a step like this ensures that you don’t close your business. You get to keep more of your employees working, and you get to provide your services or products to people who might need them.

Revisit delivery

Those who provide goods to people who live near their physical establishments may want to consider delivering. If you have at least a few products that can be delivered, then it may be time to consider using a digital freight forwarder to help you sell to other people around the country.

It should be pointed out that there are countries controlling COVID-19 enough to open up their economy. The US may not be on that list yet, but since there are some countries that are, it may be time to consider going international. If you outsource your delivery needs, you won’t have to worry about setting up your own infrastructure.

Being informed

It’s important that you do your best to stay informed. The CDC continues to learn more about the coronavirus, and you need to learn with them so you can inform your employees and managers. The worst thing you can do is avoid the subject altogether.

Giving people all the information means you’ll reduce the chances of people coming to the wrong conclusions or panicking. People are scared right now, and if they begin to panic more, it may be hard to keep good staff coming in to work if you’re in the class of essential businesses that are allowed to operate even under stay-at-home orders. If you talk about what is going on in a calm but informed manner, your staff will feel like they are being taken care of by your company.

Taking action

Doing your best to stay informed showcases that you care, but you have to take things a step further. Whatever you can do to keep your employees and managers feeling safe is what you need to do. One of the smartest things you can do is create a cleaning crew. This crew is going to be in charge of disinfecting your establishment often; you want to do this a few times a day.

Focus on all areas where your employees work, where they take their breaks, and the facilities as well. Doing this can also help clients or customers feel a little better about going to your business. It may be important to also put up signs telling people how to care for each other, like making sure everyone stays at least six feet away from each other. Put out notices regarding how to reduce the chances of getting COVID-19, like making sure everyone frequently washes their hands for at least 20 seconds.

Get relief

The federal and state governments are doing their best to figure out a way to provide relief to people like you. Everyone knows that small businesses are the lifeline of the U.S. economy, so officials are taking steps to offer some relief to businesses, and you need to take advantage of those efforts. There is no telling how bad this is going to get, and there’s no telling if the government is going to take more drastic measures, so it’s a good idea to keep up with the news.

For now, do your best to consider those low-interest disaster relief loans or the federal and state income tax deferments that are out there for companies like yours. It may also be a good idea to consider laying people off if you need to and do so quickly so folks can apply for unemployment. Yes, it’s going to be hard to do this, but if you can’t afford to keep a bigger staff, then don’t.

These are just some things you can do to stay on top of what is going on with COVID-19. You may be able to save your business if you take drastic steps now and by staying informed.


Samantha Higgins is a professional writer with a passion for research, observation, and innovation. She is nurturing a growing family of twin boys in Portland, Oregon, with her husband. She loves kayaking and reading creative non-fiction.

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