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By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter


Just when we thought we were “over the hump,” coronavirus cases have once again spiked. Many brick-and-mortar stores took fatal blows trailing the last wave of shutdowns. Hopefully, the lessons from the first wave may cushion the impact of the next.

The necessary steps include education about the important measures to protect customers and staff, and to balance this information with the needs of your business. Then business owners can plan those steps for reopening in a safe manner.

Always ensure that information sources are reliable.

Misinformation abounds about coronavirus, and the importance of accurate information about this crisis cannot be overstated.

We can expect another spike in coronavirus cases over the winter especially with holidays. Brick-and-mortar businesses will face a larger impact than online businesses. Brick-and-mortar stores should consider the following: the ability to enforce proper social distancing, any lockdown orders that may exist within your specific locality, the severity of the pandemic within your specific locality, and level of contact with customers. Some examples of businesses facing the worst impact include gyms, restaurants, and beauty establishments.

Depending on the structure of the business, human resources issues may prove tricky. For example, last spring a business had to shut down for two weeks because an employee called in to lie about having coronavirus:

The company’s facility needed a thorough cleaning, leading to huge financial losses in the meantime. Other, more small-scale companies may simply deal with such issues on a case-by-case basis given the management’s relationship with the employee. The ABA notes the importance of input from both employees and clients. They also note that each reopening plan will be different, given the circumstances of the company. For example, some businesses may require brief health screenings by qualified health professionals, such as quick temperature checks.

The ABA (American Bar Association) notes that “[reopening a business during the pandemic is essential and inevitable but it will certainly be a daunting process that will require consideration of how workers can be brought on safely, how customer concerns will be addressed, and how everything can be done in a way that allows the company to survive financially.”

On the plus side, news is positive about the defeat of the pandemic in the next several months. Even recently, several companies and institutions have developed several vaccines with amazing success rates. On the negative side, winter and the holidays has brough a surge in cases that we must address before return to a semblance of normal. Dr. Anthony Fauci estimates a rollback of coronavirus measures sometime in April:

In the meantime, small businesses can use this next surge as an opportunity to expand their horizons, build their online presence, and augment their human resources expertise.

There is hope on the horizon especially with the effective vaccines and their distribution. The hope is that this pandemic will not last forever, and resources abound for struggling business owners, despite its devastating impact. Such a crisis arises once generations. Hopefully, we can strike a balance.

VAMOBA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association wishes you health and prosperity in 2021 and beyond.


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