Protect your business from COVID-19
Yesterday, the government announced plans to mitigate the virus’ impact on America. Action items include suspending all in bound travel from Europe for the next 30 days, a possible payroll tax cut and extension of tax filing deadlines, small business aid and more.
As a precaution, business owners and management should take preventive steps to address potential disruption to their operations. Here are some recommended steps to take now.
Steps to take now
- Practice good hygiene. Encourage hand washing, cough etiquette and social distancing techniques. Disinfect surfaces thoroughly, share CDC prevention information with employees, and provide hand sanitizer and other supplies. (For more details visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
- Tell sick employees to stay home. Businesses that do not offer paid sick leave may want to consider temporarily offering sick leave.
- Limit non-essential travel. Avoid high risk areas.
- Identify critical employee groups. This could be a shipping department, payment processing team, or any functions your company absolutely must have operating every day and develop absenteeism back-up plans. Cross train employees, look for others who could learn the task, recent retirees, or consider an outsourcing plan.
- Have a communication plan. Be prepared to communicate with customers, suppliers and employees regarding any possible changes in operations.
- Proactively plan for the possibility of office closure(s). A sizable percentage of your workforce may need to perform tasks from a virtual environment at home or another remote location.
- Ensure that work-at-home systems are running well, which includes computer security. Perform a test.
- Talk to critical suppliers of both goods and services about their ability to deliver reliably. Consider setting up alternative suppliers.
- Evaluate and understand possible revenue impact. Consider ways to mitigate possible negative effects and control expenses.
- Review your insurance coverage. Make sure your property insurance program includes both business interruption and contingent business interruption coverage protecting income losses generated by inactive suppliers.
If nothing else, COVID-19 provides a good lesson that business contingency planning is a worthwhile exercise. As always, we are here to help. Please contact your Warady & Davis LLP advisor at 847-267-9600.