COVID-19 Resources for Small Businesses
HOW DOES COVID-19 AFFECT MY SMALL BUSINESS?
COVID-19 (coronavirus) is likely affecting your business already — everything from employees staying home sick, daycare accessibility, vendors unable to fill orders, and/or customers uncertain if they should shop. As the effects continue to expandfor entrepreneurs, there are steps your business can take to prepare.
Help is Available
The Wyoming SBDC Network staff is located throughout the state and is capable and able to meet with you virtually (phone, web conferencing) to assist with your questions.
We offer confidential, no-cost technical assistance to help create a strategy specific to your business needs. Visit our website to find an Advisor near you and to learn some immediate implementable tips.
Contact your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor to make an appointment by clicking here.
SMALL BUSINESS GUIDE FOR COVID-19
1. Protect Yourself and Your Employees
Work from home and allow employees to do the same if possible. Consider allowing employees to connect to the business network (if you have taken the proper cybersecurity precautions) and forward office phones to employees’ phones.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol only if soap and water are not available.
- Encourage sick personnel to stay home and self-quarantine as advised by their physician.
- Consider disinfecting your business by following this guide from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
2. Protect Your Customers
Gov. Mark Gordon has ordered closures of all bars, restaurants (dine-in services only), theaters, gymnasiums, child care facilities, K-12 schools, universities, trade schools, hair salons, massage parlors, tattoo shops, and more. Learn more here.
- Reassure your customers that you are taking steps to protect their health, such as properly cleaning your business at regular intervals and requiring sick employees to stay home.
- Use phone conversations and video conferencing to meet with customers when possible.
- Offer hand sanitizer near your business’ entrance and at cash registers.
- Avoid shaking hands or having other physical contact with customers.
3. Protect Your Business
NEW INFORMATION: The CARES Act was signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020 and provides additional assistance for small business owners. A major piece of this legislation is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll by providing loans up to $10 million for payroll and certain other expenses. If all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks, SBA will forgive a portion of the loans used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
Low-interest federal disaster loans are now being offered by the SBA to small businesses everywhere in Wyoming that are suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19. For assistance applying for these loans, fill out this short form below. You can also learn more about these loans by clicking here.
Fill out this form for receive no-cost, confidential assistance with the SBA’s low-interest Federal Disaster Loans and the new Paycheck Protection Program.
You will then be redirected to an intake form which will gather relevant information that your local advisor will use to help determine your elegibility and schedule a meeting with you over the phone or through video conferencing.
- Talk to your banker as soon as possible to plan short-term financing options. Inquire about the SBA Federal Disaster Loans mentioned above, or interest-only payments, payment deferment, and refinancing to add working capital.
- Look into delivery or pickup opportunities for your customers, especially if you have a restaurant or retail business. If your dining space is shot down, consider using you wait staff to make deliveries.
- Develop a plan for employees to continue working on other projects and business-related duties in the event that your business is closed due to the pandemic. This will reduce the risk of losing employees to other businesses as they look for work.
- Create small business “bonds” to receive money now. Learn how one Wyoming company is joining others across the country in this option.
- Beware of scams. As aid programs for entrepreneurs are increasing, so are the amount of scammers trying to take advantage of small businesses. Also, as more and more people are working from home, it is important to make sure your website and internal networks are secure. The Wyoming SBDC Network’s cybersecurity expert can help you protect your business.
ADDITIONAL COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
- COVID-19 in Wyoming (Wyoming Department of Health)
- General COVID-19 Information and Updates (CDC)
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers (CDC)
- COVID-19 Fact Sheet for Businesses (WHO)
- Guidance for Preparing Your Business for COVID-19 (OSHA)
- COVID-19 FAQ for Small Business Government Contractors (SBA)
- COVID-19 Response Tips for Small Businesses (Wyoming Business Council)
- Upcoming Grants for Small Businesses (Facebook)
- Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources (SBA)
- Resources for Manufacturers (Thomas Network)
- FFCRA Emergency Sick and Family Leave (DOL)
- NEW LINK: eBay’s Up and Running Program