ARTICLE

Lessons Learned as Businesses Reopen

Though it has only been 10 weeks since the country has been shut down, this pause has felt like an eternity to some—especially small businesses. With a record-breaking economy, small business owners were collectively excited to begin work at the beginning of the new decade. It seemed as though the country had finally gotten past the fears that accompanied the 2008 financial crisis. All-in-all the economy was primed for its best year yet. In order to bounce back quickly, small businesses must utilize the lessons learned from COVID-19 to quickly reopen the economy.

The onset of COVID-19 blindsided everyone and has effectively wiped out the economic gains our country has seen over the last half-decade. No one could have predicted a disease of this magnitude. Now, small business owners have more questions than answers. With entire economies shut down, employees and potential customers forced to stay at home, and no clear path to how to get back to normal, small businesses are left in the dark.

The U.S. government has been in lockdown for close to three months. Businesses deemed essential to public health and safety have stayed open—though with restricted hours and strong public safety measures. While this transition has been tough, non-essential businesses have felt the most pain during the lockdown.  

How Businesses are Reopening

As the country works to “flatten the curve” businesses are finally begining to reopen. While this is a step in the right direction, things will be different for the foreseeable future. With customers worried about their health and safety, the government has issued guidelines to help with the reopening. Some of the most prominent issues on small business owner's minds are if they will have access to inventory, capital, and how will employees return to work. The small business community must come together to utilize the lessons learned as businesses begin to reopen.

Every small business owner has expressed some form of concern. For companies with a retail focus, they worry about not having enough inventory to stock their shelves. Other retailers also eprry about getting capital to pay for inventory. Service orientated businesses are more concerned with employee health. Furthermore, paying rent will soon be a struggle if the economy does not experience a fast recovery.

The group most concerned is restaurant owners. They must worry about inventory, income, and their employee's health. The government is attempting to help those who lost their job due to this virus. However, many food service workers more compensation through new unemployment laws.

Final Thoughts

One of the worst parts about the pandemic is the small business owners who will not be reopening their doors. The pandemic has pushed thousands of teetering companies over the edge of no return. The already high economic losses coupled with the fear of a second wave of the virus come fall has been detrimental to the economic stability of the world.

While the Coronavirus has threatened the health and security of many, as a collective body, we need to use the lessons learned to help businesses reopen and create a stronger foundation for future success.