As the entire world continues to face more services shutdown or restricted as COVID-19 continues to spread, we are putting together this article to help other small businesses during this time of crisis. It is our belief that the small businesses of the world may be hit the hardest due to prolonged loss of traffic resulting in limited income. Together we can all overcome this.
Those who have not be able to prepare (is there a perfect way to prepare for something like this?) will have a hard time getting supplies, and other essentials, which not only run their business, but their personal lives. Small businesses may have to make hard decisions on letting go of employees, and even closing all together. The loss of income may have long lasting effects.
The list below, which we will update as time passes, are some resources which may help your small business get through or turn to alternative solutions to keep their doors open, families taken care of, and our communities strong.
Remote Work and Connection Tools
These links are tools you can use to handle digital meetings. Many companies in this space have started offering relaxed plans, or extra services during this time.
Loom is offering a free for life plan for all students and teachers, and have dropped the price on their PRO plan from $10 to $5 per month.
Zoom is offering reduced limits on their free plan, but we don’t have any specific details.
Cisco has changed to unlimited meetings with up to 100 attendees on their free plan.
Google hangouts is a great way to connect with others in your team or business. We don’t have any specific details on the service offers or pricing, but you can download the plugin or app below.
Keep in mind that the demand on these services is far exceeding normal, and they may experience service outages. Many are doing their best to increase service capacity, but that increase takes time (and workers).
Small Business Guidance
The Small Business Administration has put together an article to help small businesses prepare for the crisis and how to handle employees during this time.
The SBA has also put together an emergency funding assistance to small businesses through low interest loans to help them get by.
Google has a short article about key items you should update on your Google My Business listing to allow your customers to be in the loop.
Information for Washington based businesses from the Employment Security department:
Information for Oregon based businesses from Business Oregon:
Tips on managing remote teams during the outbreak:
Tips for HR and remote workers:
Personal & Family
While many small businesses are going to face some impacts, even if not directly the biggest thing to remember is family comes first. Please take care of your family and other families by closing if you feel sick. Take any precautions that you can such as extra cleaning to protect your family and others. And while inconvenient in the moment, it can have lasting effects in the community.
Our best recommendation is to not panic. Activities such as hording certain supplies only serves to harm others. When we all take reasonable amounts, supply can keep up with the demand and everyone is able to get some. This in turn leads to less people ending up sick, because they secured the supplies they needed. Remember that your actions touch everyone in your community.
The last tip is to be cautious of price gouging and do your best not to give in to such tactics designed to take advantage of those in need during a crisis. There will always be someone out there hoping to make an extra buck by harming others. We can all do our part to make it not profitable for them by not letting our fear get the best of us.
Stay calm, safe and healthy
During this crisis, we will be offering a free 30-minute call or email support to help guide your small business with any technology type needs. Our goal is to help you continue to function the best you can and survive the crisis, despite the economic turmoil.
Got any other tips or links that you know of? Drop us a comment below or connect with us over email or phone.