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COVID-19 Pandemic Illustration
| - Small Business - Business Owners - Enterprise - Leadership - Team/Productivity - All - Entrepreneurship - |
 Mike Connell
 
Whether you work for, or run, a large enterprise, operate a small business, freelance, manage a family, or you’re retired, we have all been significantly affected by COVID-19.

Staying home and self-isolating or quarantining to do our part to flatten the curve is the proper course. We will get through this. We will stay together by staying apart. But what does that really mean for small business owners?

No one is immune to this pandemic. But small businesses typically run lean. Generally speaking, they don’t have deep pockets or reserves of cash to wait out a storm, much less a national emergency.

So, when we see headlines in publications like this one in The New York Times, our ears perk up:

March 25, 3:03 am:Congress and White House Strike Deal for $2 Trillion Stimulus Package

As far as small businesses are concerned, the package provides the following:

$350 billion that would establish lending programs for small businesses, but only for those who keep their payrolls steady through the crisis. Small businesses that pledge to keep their workers would also receive cash-flow assistance structured as federally guaranteed loans. If the employer continued to pay its workers for the duration of the crisis, those loans would be forgiven.

Since the historic deal has just been announced, there weren’t many details regarding how businesses can apply for assistance, however there are a number of resources available that can help answer your questions and lead our efforts to keep business(es) alive during the pandemic.

Government Resources for Small Businesses

The White House recently issued a release for businesses and employers: “The President's Coronavirus Guidelines for America - 15 Days to Slow the Spread”.

These are common-sense “do your part”/stop-the-spread guidelines, but still useful to have on hand to ensure everyone is on the same page.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) features the following: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) (updated as of March 21, 2020 at the time of this writing).

The United States Department of Labor also has materials to help workers and employers prepare for and deal with COVID-19: U.S. Department of Labor Coronavirus Resources


Industry Association Resources for Small Businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides the following support: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

The SBA also provides Disaster Assistance resources and support, along with more specific disaster assistance in response to the Coronavirus (that speaks to eligibility as well as the steps small businesses can take to apply for a loan).

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides resources for employers during the coronavirus pandemic:

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19: Information and education covering COVID-19 and how to manage it in the workplace, along with steps employers can take in various working environments.

The California Small Business Development Center (SBDC) put together “the latest news and resources for your business” pertaining to COVID-19 (updated as of March 17, 2020), but the information contained is applicable across the country, not just businesses operating in California.

Facebook for Business has compiled a helpful COVID-19 resource: Managing through and building resilience during the COVID-19 outbreak

Facebook also offers a Facebook Small Business Grants Program:

“We know that your business may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. We’ve heard that a little financial support can go a long way, so we are offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time.”

Managing Mental health

Managing the dollars and cents of our businesses, along with the plight of our colleagues, friends, and family, is more than a financial burden. It takes a significant mental toll.

The CDC’s Coronavirus resource section features information on how to Manage Anxiety and Stress.

The National Council for Behavioral Health (“the unifying voice of America’s health care organizations that deliver mental health and addictions treatment and services”) has created a Coronavirus educational portal:

“To help you navigate this rapidly evolving situation, we are building a coronavirus resource directory and sharing tools and information to inform you every step of the way.”

Similarly, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has published a paper outlining various COVID-19-related resources and information: NAMI COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) INFORMATION AND RESOURCES.

General Resources

Meditation: Whether you subscribe to meditation as a practice or not, it can be a great help in stressful and anxious times. Ten Percent Happier is an amazing resource for meditation skeptics and/or beginners.

What started out as a book by former TV news anchor, Dan Harris (who had a breakdown on air), has turned into an approachable philosophy on meditation in various formats.

In addition to a podcast, there is an app that walks you through various meditations for almost any occasion.

Of late, the organization has also created a Coronavirus Sanity Guide:

In times like these, we need practical, actionable ways of coping with stress, fear, and anxiety. The meditations, podcasts, blog posts, and talks on this page will help you build resilience and find some calm amidst the chaos. We’re adding more resources as they're created - so keep checking back. Please share this page widely. These resources are free for all.

Health and wellbeing: Meditation can help us manage our state of mind, but being active and healthy can do wonders for both our bodies and our minds. Whether it’s getting outside (when and where you can), or exercising inside your home, it’s important to stay active.

There’s no end to great advice on how to get moving in isolation:

Runner’s World - “How People Are Staying Motivated and Active at Home During Social Distancing”

Bicycling Magazine - “How to Ride Safely Amid Coronavirus Concerns”

Business Insider - “How to create an effective full-body workout in a quarantine, according to personal trainers”

Staying Together While Staying Apart

It’s becoming a cliche, but it’s true… we do need to distance ourselves—physically—in order to flatten the curve, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep our connections strong.

The American Heart Association wrote about how important it is to maintain our connections during this time of disconnection: “If you hunker down against coronavirus, don't stop reaching out, experts say.”

In that same vein, if you’re struggling with how to effectively reach out to your network of friends and family, remember: luckily, we live in a time of super-connectivity… and our kids are the leaders in that space:

Social distancing and teens: How to help kids deal with coronavirus precautions, and what adults can learn from this connected generation

Overall, remember that we are in this together. With that in mind, if you have any thoughts and/or resources you would like to share, please let us know in the comments below!

Here at InfoStreet, we are hoping you are all staying safe, staying healthy, and staying home! We will get through this