These are uncertain times with the stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders becoming stricter and stricter, attempting to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. While much focus has been on the inability of many people to earn wages due to their jobs being suspended, small business owners are also struggling if they cannot operate as usual.
First and foremost, all businesses should fully comply with any orders to shut down in-person operations. Many companies are able to continue operations from home, and it is important to explore every opportunity for telework for you and your employees. Be aware that you will need to reimburse employees for any necessary job-related expenses stemming from telework, and ensure that you comply with all of California’s wage and hour laws.
If you cannot continue operations remotely, you might have to suspend business for weeks or months. In this situation, you might be able to rely on business interruption insurance to cover part of your losses. However, expect there to be many claims filed in the coming weeks, and payment might be delayed or denied.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has an Emergency injury Disaster Loan Program that provides low-interest loans to small companies affected by COVID-19. Business owners from all U.S. states and territories can apply.
Other concerns for small businesses include costs of cleaning facilities, changing market demands, whether to continue marketing, supply chain issues, access to capital, and more. Know that you are not alone in this situation, and there are professionals ready to provide guidance on how to best get through these times.