Prepare Your Business, Employees, and Customers During COVID-19 Outbreak
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans
Are Now Available in Colorado
Colorado small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can now seek individual small business loans up to $2M as part of the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Small businesses throughout all 64 counties may seek SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Governor Jared Polis announced that Colorado’s application for federal disaster area designation has been approved.
The SBA Disaster assistance provides low-interest federal loans for working capital to Colorado small businesses that have realized economic injury from COVID-19. Funding was appropriated through the US congressional Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.
The website and application will experience unprecedented traffic. If the page will not load, please check back at a later time.
State of Colorado Launches Relief Fund
Governor Polis announces the launch of the Colorado Relief Fund to help communities through the COVID-19 crisis. Mile High United Way and the State of Colorado are operating the fund together with help from community leaders statewide. Funds will provide resources to organizations working in communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Now is the time to build confidence in your business by preparing for future events that are out of your control. Business owners facing serious consequences from the threat of COVID-19 (coronavirus) must prepare their employees, customers, and businesses. Social responsibility is something many prospective customers and employees look for in businesses and other organizations. Social distancing will be the most overused phrase in 2020—but it’s an effective strategy for protecting those we know and work with.
Protecting Your Employees
You should ensure your employees know that their health, safety, and well-being is your first priority. Evaluate all of the human interactions within your business and create contingency plans as a first step. Involve your employees by strongly encouraging them to take defensive steps to safeguard their health and the health of their communities.
Ensure you can communicate with all of your employees, whether they are in-office, in the field, or working remotely. Company-wide meetings, email groups, mass texting, phone chains, intranet pages, and on-site message boards are several options available to you to make sure your employees remain informed and confident in your leadership.
Regular communication will help decrease the likelihood of a panic. The more informed everyone is, the more they will be able to maintain a rational and objective view of this ever-changing situation in regard to the sources of the virus, how it is transferred, and what they can do personally to protect themselves and others around them.
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- Office Staff – Determine essential and non-essential staff within your organization. Develop a remote work policy for non-essential employees who can do their jobs from any location.
- Field employees – Establish a policy for social distancing and sanitation, like a no handshake policy. Post and follow a schedule for disinfecting high-touch surfaces.
- Subcontractors and 1099s – Advise best practices for on-site interaction with other subcontractors and employees.
Protecting your Customers
You also have a responsibility to keep your customers safe. Create or evaluate—and publish—your policy regarding customer interaction. Practice effective communication, sanitation, and respect for customers’ health and safety at all times.
- Proactively share important information with your customers using email, your website and social media pages. You might include information about the measures you’re taking to make your premises and products safe or how you will handle customer inquiries if there are expected delays.
- Let customers know when your employees will be available. Reassure everyone who interacts with your business that no sick or potentially sick employees will come into contact with fellow employees, sub-contractors, or customers. Be transparent about what you will do if an employee becomes sick.
- Define your sanitation practices and reinforce all of the recommendations from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and WHO (World Health Organization).
- Communicate how your employees will respect customers and their property.
Protecting Your Business
Establishing excellent hygiene-related practices will maintain customers’ confidence in your business’s great products and services.
- Re-think your go-to market strategies. Modify your sales team’s approach through telesales, and if that is unrealistic, address any concerns about face-to-face interaction. Put customers’ minds at ease by addressing health and safety concerns through additional lines of communication.
- Consider expanding your digital communications using email, testimonials, case studies, and white papers.
- Explore outdoor advertising opportunities like billboards and bus signs to communicate your message.
- Podcasts, radio, and TV are also great options for reaching prospects who are in self-isolation.
- Prepare your business for a reduction in service due to the infection.
- Look closely at your fixed costs.
- Look for alternative suppliers for materials.
- Cross-train employees.
- Partner with other businesses.
- Consolidate with weakened competitors.