Survival for Small Businesses; What Steps Should You Take During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Small businesses face a variety of issues every day. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased the problems faced by many small business owners throughout Florida. Large multi-billion dollar corporations may be able to ride out the mandatory shutdowns. Unfortunately, many small business owners may not have the resources to survive a prolonged shutdown.
Furthermore, some small business owners operate businesses that are considered “essential services” and are exempt from the shutdown. During this time, they must also be concerned about protecting their employees and customers from exposure to the virus.
Below are ten COVID-19 tips for small business owners to help them as they struggle to survive the coronavirus outbreak.
Tips for Small Business Owners During Florida’s COVID-19 Shutdown
- Follow the CDC Guidelines for Social Distancing
If your company remains open, follow all CDC guidelines for maintaining social distancing. Also, frequently check the Governor’s Executor Orders as well as your local government’s orders regarding staying open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Evaluate Your Business Plan
Review your written business plan. Modify your business plan for the next few weeks. You may also want to modify your long-term goals for the next year and beyond.
- Contact Your Landlord
Many landlords are working with small business owners during the shutdown. Talk to your landlord about potential options for reducing rent payments or deferring two or three payments by extending the term of your lease.
- Contact Creditors and Lenders
Call your lenders and creditors to inquire about special payment arrangements. Many lenders and creditors are reducing payments, extending loan terms, deferring payments, reducing interest rates, and offering other assistance to small business owners during the shutdown.
- Review Your Budget
There could be several areas in your budget in which you can reduce costs and overhead. Carefully review your budget. You may need to create a new budget for the shutdown.
- Review the Provisions of the CARES Act
The CARES Act contains numerous provisions to help small business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic. Review each of the options to determine whether you can benefit from loans and grants.
SBDC Florida has a CARES Act comparison chart on its website, in addition to other information for COVID-19 business disaster recovery assistance. Small business owners may also want to contact their lenders about SBA loans and also request additional information about The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan.
- Evaluate Employee Retention Plans
It can be difficult for your employees during the pandemic. Be as transparent as possible regarding potential layoffs. Make sure that if you need to layoff or furlough employees, you do so in a way that allows employees to be eligible for unemployment compensation and benefits until you can hopefully rehire them.
You may also want to discuss benefits with your insurance provider or employee benefits administrator.
- Review Your Contracts
You may need to extend contract terms for customers and clients until business is back to normal. Review all contracts and determine the best way for you to conduct business while also assisting clients and customers who may be suffering financially during this pandemic.
Before creating or modifying any existing contracts, be sure to contact your business law attorney to discuss your options.
- Networking with Other Business Owners
Reach out to trade organizations, the Chamber of Commerce, and local government to see what assistance they can offer. Also, reach out to other small business owners in your area. Exchanges ideas and suggestions for ways to survive the shutdown.
- Reach Out to Customers and Clients
Reach out to your clients, customers, and other parties to ask if you can be of any assistance. Maintaining a good relationship with your customers is just as important now, and will help you retain customer loyalty when the shutdown ends.
Contact a Florida Business Lawyer for Help
Matthew Fornaro, P.A. is open and assisting small business owners throughout Broward and Palm Beach County as they navigate the challenging issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have questions about small business loans, employment matters, contracts, leases, or other business law matters, contact our office by calling 954-324-3651 to speak with business law attorney Matthew Fornaro. We are here for you during this uncertain time.