We are in the midst of trying times, and the current state of the world is creating a ton of uncertainty for people in all walks of life. For business owners and entrepreneurs, especially those with product-driven companies, shutdowns and social distancing pose a real threat to sustainability.
If customers can’t visit your business, aren’t buying your products, or have canceled subscriptions for budgetary reasons, it’s going to be difficult to stay afloat during the COVID-19 crisis.
There is some hope to found, however, as organizations and institutions are taking measures to help small businesses and entrepreneurs through legislation, loans, investments, and other resources.
To help you navigate these uncertain days (and preserve the future of your business), here’s a collection of resources and other valuable information that could make the difference between keeping the lights on and losing your business to this pandemic.
Stay apprised of the bills and other legislation that may have an effect on your business. The government response to COVID-19 and the related economic implications is changing all the time, of course, but this is what’s happening so far.
• A detailed overview of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act:
The United States Small Business Administration is offering a range of programs and in-depth guidance for business owners of all kinds.
These are public events; we’re all in this together and everyone is welcome!
NAWBO has been offering weekly opportunities to connect, network and learn.
NAWBO member. We strongly encourage you to watch their webinar on the new SBA loans and grants available for all business owners.
Topics have included up-to-minute information on SBA government programs, funding opportunities, what the Families First Act means for small businesses, how to pivot your business, etc.
The schedule is as follows each week and programming specifics will be announced every Friday for the week to come:
Tuesdays – Virtual Lunch & Learn – 12 p.m. ET
Wednesdays – Community Connect – 5 p.m. ET
Fridays – Virtual Connect & Learn – 10:30 a.m. ET
Our friends over at the Pasadena Angels have put together an outstanding blog article with links and resources for startups and companies they’ve funded. Follow their advice for approaching investors now and what to do in this unprecedented time of fast change.
The new Families First Act is comprehensive and broad reaching. There are new stipulations about how family leave and sick leave get paid out. There are a lot of things you need to do as a business owner to comply and make sure you handle the details properly. This is an important point because the act covers legal costs. There is a high likelihood of lawsuits after everything calms down if you don’t handle this well.
National Association of Women Business Owners’ (NAWBO) has a sub-group of members who are employment lawyers. They’ve put together a packet of checklists, documents you can use, policies, and notices. It’s available for $200 here. A portion of proceeds supports NAWBO.
Beyond government assistance, many financial institutions are offering loans, changing terms to help struggling businesses, and creating new programs for these unprecedented times.
Forbes List of Banks Offering Relief To Customers Affected By Coronavirus (COVID-19):
A few huge companies (namely Facebook and Google) are providing some relief and resources for business owners, acknowledging how many entrepreneurs use these tools and platforms on a daily basis.
• Google’s Crisis Response Announcement:
• Facebook Small Business Grant Program:
Because this pandemic is affecting so many people, there’s no shortage of advice available from those who have weathered business storms in the past. Whether it’s managing remote teams, maintaining customer relationships, or simply staying sane under “shelter in place,” it’s also important to remember the “people” side of your business, not just the financial side.
• How to Survive the Coronavirus and Keep Your Startup Alive:
Even in the age of COVID-19, you need to stay focused on the customer:
A Guide to Working from home with a dog:
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and new information will likely be emerging every day. These resources are all great places to start, and within each, you’ll find links to more guidance, programs, and ideas to help you maintain your business. You’ll also want to do your own research to find the applicable programs in your own state and local area.
As we continue to brave this new frontier, plenty of things are going to have to change, including how many of us operate our businesses. These resources, and many others like them, are going to be the key to navigating the emerging landscape and keeping our businesses up and running!
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