Reopening a small business after coronavirus closure is no easy feat. The virus is still spreading in many areas and the rules of reopening can vary significantly depending on where you are or the type of business you operate. Maybe SBA 7a loans helped you keep things going during the shutdown, but for many business owners, it is time to start thinking about getting back to work.
If you are getting ready to reopen your business, you are going to need to adapt to significant changes. You obviously want to get back to running your business, but you also need to consider the health and wellbeing of customers and employees. The following are some of the steps you will need to cover as you plan for the reopening of your small business.
Check the Government Guidelines
If you are going to reopen, you need to follow the reopening guidelines from the government. Since different states and cities have different guidelines, you are going to need to check resources for both. Start by checking the reopening rules by the state and then check with your local government. This is important because different states and cities are handling reopening differently. Some places are almost entirely open, some are partially open and some are still deep in shutdown. Some states even started to reopen only to have to reverse course because of a resurgence of new cases.
Reopen While Protecting Public Health
You need to reopen in a way that will protect the health of your employees and customers. This means considering things like social distancing and personal protective equipment. Consider whether you can reopen in a way that will be safe for everyone that comes to your location. You will also need to think about the types of protective gear that should be supplied to employees. As it concerns social distancing, you might only be able to reopen to partial capacity. That might mean having fewer employees on-duty and only allowing a certain number of customers at one time. You might also need to rearrange the interior of your location to allow for distancing.
Create a COVID-19 Sanitation Policy
Reopening during the pandemic is going to require the development of new cleaning policies. Consider how different areas of your business are used and what cleaning will be required to prevent the spread of the virus. It’s not just about cleaning different spaces, but you will also need to sanitize different items. This is especially true for items that might be touched by many people throughout the course of a day. If you are looking for guidance on cleaning the workplace, the CDC offers some of the best advice.
Provide Reasonable Sick Leave
The last thing you want is for sick employees to come to work or for people who are vulnerable to feel like they have to come in. If employees are worried about losing their jobs or losing money, they might come in even if they suspect that they might be sick. With that said, you can prevent this by offering coronavirus related sick leave and by allowing for remote work when possible. Develop policies for sick leave and remote work and make sure to communicate them to your employees.
Consider the Concerns of Your Industry
Coronavirus reopening is going to be different for different industries. Businesses like restaurants, hair salons and gyms are likely to have more difficulties with reopening than some other businesses. Consider the unique concerns of your workplace and the industry in which you operate. Most states are offering specific advice and guidelines for businesses that operate in different industries.
Regardless of the type of business you run, reopening is not going to be easy. With that said, you can avoid problems by developing a plan. Make sure to follow the rules of your state, take steps to protect people and stay current on any updates from your state government and the CDC.
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