Due to the fast-changing nature of COVID-19 programs and SBA COVID-19 programs, posts may become quickly out of date. Please check our COVID-19 section for the most up-to-date information on rates, terms, and other info for PPP loans/EIDLs. As COVID-19 continues to have a ripple effect worldwide, small businesses must brave new challenges to stay in business. Some of these issues include sick employees, demand shock, and travel and supply chain disruptions. To keep your small business ahead of the virus, we’ve gathered a few tips to push through this challenging time. 1. Sick Employees As a business owner, your greatest asset is the health of your employees. Unfortunately, 90% of employees admit that they still go to work even when they’re ill. Sick employees can not only affect your bottom line, but they also put customers and other employees at risk of catching their illness. 2. Decreased Demand Most small businesses can expect a significant drop in consumer demand. As more customers practice social distancing and self-isolation, fewer individuals will be in crowded places like malls, restaurants, and theaters. As brick-and-mortar stores face slower foot traffic, many businesses are temporarily closing down. 3. Travel Restrictions Foreign visitors typically spend $256 billion on US travel and tourism a year. However, with the recent travel ban to the US from 28 European countries and massive vacation cancellations, small businesses must deal with the fallout. Businesses in the hotel and hospitality industry are especially at risk to suffer losses. 4. Supply Chain Disruptions Since many businesses primarily rely on China to manufacture parts, supply chain restrictions will continue to be a major concern. According to a recent report by the Institute of Supply Chain Management, 75% of businesses have experienced supply chain disruption due to COVID-19. As companies scramble to find new suppliers, expect long delays to secure products and parts. How To Cope With Coronavirus Complications With the state of small businesses in flux, businesses must evolve to meet current challenges. Here are a few ways your business can adapt to keep the lights on. \tStart working from home. To prevent any chances of spreading the virus, you should encourage employees to work from home. Invest in the proper infrastructure and use business communication tools like Slack and Google Hangouts to keep your team aligned. \tNegotiate rent with your landlord. One strategy to reduce overhead costs is to ask for temporary assistance on rent. If you have a good relationship with your landlord, negotiate a discount on rent or see if you can defer payments. \tApply for an SBA Loan. On March 12th, the president announced that the SBA will offer disaster assistance loans for businesses impacted by COVID-19. The SBA Disaster Injury Recovery Loan provides up to $2 million in assistance for businesses in designated areas. \tCommunicate with your suppliers. Your material suppliers are critical to avoid further disruption to your supply chain. Now is the time to conduct an assessment of all of your upstream suppliers and develop relationships with them to remain top of mind. When your suppliers know who you are, they’ll be more likely to assist you.