Smart Ways to Protect Your Business During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Tuesday, 21 July 2020

 With several countries worldwide adopting restrictions and lockdowns to slow down the spread of coronavirus, many small businesses are being affected by losing customers and revenue. As a business owner, you may want to continue opening your business and continue trading as long as possible. Still, you may also be worried about the health of your employees and yourself.

 If you're worried about what to do next to keep your business afloat during and after the pandemic, here are excellent ideas.

Take advantage of government relief strategies for businesses in your area. 

Governments in different countries are putting measures to help cushion small businesses and ease the impact of coronavirus. These plans range from loan schemes, tax relief, to assisting employers in claiming back sick pay.

For example, in the UK, they offer various grants, reduced business rates, loan schemes, and statutory sick pay relief for small businesses. Businesses in the UK worried about paying taxes during this time can contact the HMRC (the UK's tax, payments, and customs authority). In the US, the CARES Act was signed into law in March to offer relief for Americans and small businesses. In Australia, the government supports businesses by giving business investment incentives and cash flow to aid employers. Check your local city or state to find out what’s available for you. 

Work from home or take serious workplace precautions.

Many countries are advising people to work from home if they can. If you're used to going to the office, shop, or restaurant, this may feel strange at first. However, it's safer for both you and your employees to be keeping less social contact as much as possible. You could teach yoga online through Zoom, or offer home delivery services where your customers can shop on your website instead of in-store.

Not everyone can work from home, though, depending on the type of business you run. But then, aside from enforcing strict hygiene practices at the workplace like practicing social distancing, regular handwashing, and disinfecting communal areas and equipment, find ways to limit contact with people. Also, don't forget to wear a mask and ensure your staff is also putting on masks. You can purchase Disposable Face Masks for you and your employees. 
Keep your employees and customers posted. 

Communicate coronavirus-related news to your employees by sending out emails and memos, or have meetings on Zoom and Skype. Keep them posted about your policies and any updates you're undertaking. This helps reduce workplace panic, and the more your staff knows, the better.
It's also important to notify your customers of any business changes, like opening hours or delay in products or stock, or if it's mandatory for them to wear a mask when visiting your store or restaurant. This will avoid any miscommunication. You can send out emails, update your social media, or even add a news update section on your website. This will strengthen your relationship with customers and help maintain brand loyalty.
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