Coronavirus Information and Resources for Retail SMBs
Times are confusing and difficult across the US in the face of the COVID19 outbreak and the restrictions being placed on both people and businesses in an effort to slow the spread. And whether you operate a business online or off, many small retail businesses are being hit especially hard.
In a sea of information – much of it unfortunately rumor, scam, or misguided – it can be hard to know where you can turn for help to stay afloat. Here we have gathered some genuine and researched resources that we hope you may be able to make use of to help bolster your retail business in these currently very uncertain times.
SBA – Small Business Association – Resources
The SBA has long been an advocate for small business and is providing resources to help out during the Coronavirus crisis.
In terms of loans you may be able to qualify for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. These loans are low-interest working capital offerings designed to aid businesses severely impacted by events such as the coronavirus pandemic. You can find out more about them, including the criteria to qualify, here.
The Export Express loan program may be available to those who do business abroad. For information about this and other SBA-guaranteed loans for businesses, click here.
As you might expect OSHA are heading the efforts to keep workplaces as safe as possible. They have prepared a free to access booklet here that outlines steps employers can take in different types of workplaces, including retail and distribution outlets to keep employees and customers safe here.
There is also an employee specific set of guidelines that can be found here.
The IRS has established a page – which is continuously updated – that outlines the steps that taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus pandemic should be following to minimize the tax impact on their finances. That can be found here.
Facebook for Business Resources
Many retailers make use of Facebook and their subsidiary Instagram to engage with and even sell to customers. The company has established a Resource Center for business Facebook users that covers actionable techniques that can be used to help keep in touch with customers and continue to sell online.
The Small Business Resilience Quick Action Guide may be particularly useful to retail SMBs as may the free courses being made available that cover Facebook marketing and advertising practices. You can find these resources here.
Google My Business Resources
Google have created both a comprehensive information center for those who make use of Google My Business with all kinds of help and advice for dealing with business changes during the pandemic and a Remote Work Hub that offers resources to those trying to manage a workforce in that way.
NCSA COVID-19 Security Resource Library
Scams are popping up all over, so the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) has created a “COVID-19 Security Resource Library” — a compilation of tips and recommendations on ways to stay safe online, and how to avoid cyber threats and scams during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can access that here.