Because Your Business Can’t Wear a Mask

Small businesses are beginning to experience significant disruptions because of COVID-19.  The recommended “social distancing” that will save lives is also making more people stay at home, leading to marked decreases in sales for many small businesses, especially restaurants and specialty retailers.  Uncertainty is keeping other customers from making decisions to invest in your services. How do you protect your business in times of COVID-19?

Stay in Touch with Your Lender

If you have a small business loan, stay in touch with your loan officer. Let them know how COVID-19 is affecting your business. Ask what they can do to help you through the next few months. Don’t lay low and avoid them.

As sales decrease, so does cash. Is a quick online loan the answer? Think again. Online lenders are taking advantage of the current situation by promising quick loans, but often these loans are very expensive, if you don’t read the fine print very carefully. Beware of predatory lenders.

Help the Small Business Administration Help You

What about a Small Business Administration’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Loan? You can help the SBA so that it can help you. These funds will only become available in counties declared as “disaster counties”. In this case, it is not a tornado or flood that defines the disaster but more than 5 businesses demonstrating that they have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. If your business is being disrupted, please download and complete the form by clicking HERE. If your business is located in Arkansas, please email the form to vog.sasnakra.meda@91divocssenisub. For all other states, please email the form to vog.abs@erdaCspOdleiFWCOF. Once your county is declared a disaster county, you can apply for a Disaster Relief Loan.

What else can you do to protect your business? Take it online and deliver!

Create a Strong Online Presence

Does your business have a strong online presence? Start selling online instead of waiting for customers to show up at your doorstep. Strengthen your website and use social media to promote your products! Communities Unlimited in partnership with GoDaddy is offering digital marketing training online so you join from your home or office. Check our Training Calendar frequently as we add more training sessions or sign-up to receive email notices about local and online training sessions by clicking HERE.

Delivery and To-Go Services

Demand is quickly rising for delivery services that drop off groceries, goods and meals at someone’s doorstep. While customers may not want to sit down in your beautiful restaurant right now, they may be willing to pull up and pick up dinner for their family that they ordered online or by phone. Use social media to get the word out about your new service.

Create a Continuity and Recovery Plan

Does your staff know what to do if you are out for a few weeks? Be sure to create a Continuity and Recovery Plan and make sure staff know where to find it in an emergency. Click HERE for templates that guide you through the development of your plan.

Create Your Response Action Steps

While most of our staff are now working remotely from their homes, they are still here for you. One of our management consultant can work with you to develop a customized response action plan to manage the current uncertainty but also ensure that you are prepared to meet your customers’ demand once they are back and ready to do business in a few weeks? Your consultant can also help you figure out whether you really need that loan and how best to use a loan so it does not get your business in trouble in the long-run. Call 479-443-2700 to be connected to a management consultant or fill out a Contact Us form.

Most importantly, take a deep breath or a few, take the necessary steps to ensure that you and your team stay healthy and do the best you can to protect your business!

By:  Deborah Temple, Director of Lending – Communities Unlimited


New FAQs for business owners available HERE.