Preparing for the “new normal”

Although we are into the month of May, somehow it feels like we are in the middle of winter and waiting for Punxsutawney Phil to step forward and prognosticate about the warming seasons. Unfortunately, for many local businesses, we can’t afford much more of a cold and desolate spring. We need a glorious summer. We can’t go back to sleep. We need to look at the future and make changes and adjustments to compete in the New Normal.

“The COVID-19 pandemic will drive short- and long-term disruption in our lives and in our organizations even after the initial outbreak has been contained,” said Michael Grady, executive vice president for Vector Security Networks (VSN). “Preparing for re-entry into the ‘new normal’ will be an overwhelming task, with numerous decisions that businesses need to make along the way.” – https://campuslifesecurity.com/articles/2020/04/29/entry-solutions-for-businesses-preparing-to-return-after-covid19.aspx?m=1

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many business websites have had an increase in online traffic over the past few months. Those that have online sales have grown substantially. Those that strictly provide “on location” activities for the most part might decide they need to catch up with their customers; reconsider their services and products; and locate needed help to assistance and suggestions for loans and financing.

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act was signed into law, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses. Funding updates and changes will be forthcoming. The U.S. Small Business Administration has four Coronavirus Relief Options: Paycheck Protection Program, EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) Loan Advance, SBA Express Bridge Loans, and SBA Debt Relief. – https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options

Here are some other sources of help and information you might find useful:

The Economic Development Board for Tacoma and Pierce County has updated information – https://www.edbtacomapierce.org/covid-19/

Covid-19 Business Resources for Washington State (with live support chat) – https://www.business.wa.gov/site/alias__business/1561/covid-19.aspx

We have prepared a free ebook “Coping with Covid-19 and New Directions of Business” that you may download and share with friends and associated. There are seven articles, written in the last two months about business and adapting to the new normal including one article that’s summary of the SBA 7(a) Loan Guarantee Program (the Paycheck Protection Program). –

In a changing world here in the U.S., the move to universal healthcare and guaranteed income is being more seriously looked upon. Here are four points for consideration from existing forums:

  1. Devise a lock down exit strategy – Consider how to open back up for business while at the same time working to protect your workers and developing a great web presence.
  2. Consider the changing role of the state – The reliance on our national government to protect us is even more important than it has been in the past.
  3. Use technology to augment, not replace, people – From education to production, technology is our friend for learning, working, and selling.
  4. Embrace the cultural and behavioral shifts that COVID-19 introduced – Religions and ethnic gatherings need help to find alternatives to group activities to preserve their culture.

In addition to reviewing your business strategies, you should also be looking at your financial numbers. Both employees and employers have been blindsided by the effects of this pandemic. No one ever has enough money, but emergencies come when we least expect them. Let’s hope that the groundhog comes out of his shelter and gets down to business.