Covid infections are rising again across the country. There is widespread speculation that we’re facing the predicted second wave of the virus in tandem with flu season. A second covid wave threatens small businesses that have survived so far, especially since there are few signs of relief or assistance.
Don’t expect any federal government action until after the next president and Congressional delegation are sworn into office in January. Tennessee’s state government has initiated several programs to help small businesses but that money was quickly depleted.
So what is a small business owner to do? Take a breath and look past the bottom line.
- If your company is still in business, celebrate that fact. Nashville thrives on the tourist industry which has been clobbered by covid and caused many small businesses to close. Anyone still in business needs to celebrate that fact.
- Be transparent with employees and your independent contractors. We all know it’s tough for everyone. In my career, I’ve been downsized from a factory job and from corporate lawyer jobs. The worst feeling is wondering when the axe will chop off your job as you listen to the management team blow smoke and tap dance around the truth.
- Show your appreciation for your employees and independent contractors by hosting a low cost event. Outdoor events, such as gathering at a pavilion in a local park or on the patio of a restaurant would allow everyone to maintain social distancing. The event itself is less important than being able to show your workers that you care about them.
- Create a list of local social welfare resources and distribute it to your employees and independent contractors. The list should include food banks, mental health counseling services, domestic abuse and suicide hotline numbers, locations of low-cost medical clinics for those without health insurance, and so on. Reminding your workers of the available resources can help them cope with the stresses we all face.
- Take another look at your HR policies and procedures. The policies and procedures may need tweaking to reduce confusion and potential inequities with workforces split between those who must go to a jobsite and those who can work from home.
If your company is struggling with the new “normal”, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you. We can create or update HR policies that adapt to the new normal and then serve as a resource after the policies are implemented.