The year 2020 has certainly been an unprecedented year for America. The coronavirus took us by storm and changed everything from how we interact with friends, family, and coworkers, to how we study, exercise, and do business. Perhaps no sector has been hit as hard as small business. Across America, thousands of small businesses have had to shutter their doors, and sadly, many will never re-open.
In California, small businesses have endured some of the strictest lockdowns in the country and have had the challenge of not only adapting to changes in customer behavior, but also keeping up with safety protocols and new rules issued by the state government. It’s not surprising that as we enter the new year, many small business owners aren’t sure what to do next and are beginning to feel what’s being referred to as “pandemic fatigue.” Fortunately, there are some resources available to help small business owners stay afloat and protect their employees during these dire times.
With more state lockdowns and no federal aid in sight, many small businesses are worried about how they’ll make it through the winter. However, the California government realizes the extent of the crisis and is providing various types of aid and relief to small businesses across the state. If you’re a small business owner, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the resources that are available to you and your employees.
Listed below are some of the state and federal resources for small businesses in California:
Another sign of help on the way for small businesses is coming through the California Office of the Small Business Advocate. There is currently $500 million in grants that will be available to small businesses in California, and applications will soon be accepted on their website.
Other resources include Economic Injury Disaster Loans and the Paycheck Protection Program. For a full listing of resources in California, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development has compiled this list of resources for small businesses and their employees.
No one is more important to small businesses than the people who make them run. While these times can be trying for those in charge, it’s even harder on employees who may be concerned about their next paycheck, job uncertainty, childcare or whether they’ll have health insurance in the months to come.
As a business owner, it’s important to take the proper steps to assure your employees safety throughout the pandemic and as the state begins to re-open. The first place to start is by reading and studying the Employer Playbook, which was issued by the state of California and provides guidelines for re-opening your business safely.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published – and regularly updates – COVID-19 guidelines for businesses and employers. The guidelines can help to prevent or slow the spread of workplace exposures to the coronavirus. Each business is different, but employers should ensure their plan identifies all areas and jobs with potential risks to COVID-19 exposure and includes measures to reduce or eliminate these exposures.
The CDC COVID-19 website includes a wealth of information to help you keep your employees and workplace safe. The small business guidance provides easy-to-follow steps and tips to implement. Business owners are undoubtedly fatigued as we approach the anniversary of the onslaught of the pandemic, but employees are also feeling overtaxed. Share the CDC’s tips on managing fatigue with your team to help them manage in this stressful time.
If any employees have a fever, cough, or other coronavirus symptoms, be sure to instruct them to stay home, contact their medical provider, tell those they may have exposed, monitor their symptoms and seek emergency medical attention if or when warranted.
Here are some other things you should consider to help your employees:
Most importantly, there’s never been a more crucial time for your employees to have adequate health insurance. Consider how COVID-19 and potential closures are affecting your employees health insurance, and if you don’t have proper coverage for them, now’s the time to make a change.
At Leap | Carpenter | Kemps Insurance Agency, we provide quality life and health insurance, as well as complete employee benefits packages to meet your needs and those of your employees. If you’re looking for ways to help reduce the risk in your workplace and make sure your employees are adequately insured, schedule an appointment with one of our insurance agents to discuss your current coverage and explore your best options.
Leap | Carpenter | Kemps Insurance Agency provides Commercial Business Insurance, Employee Benefits, Life and Health Insurance, and Personal Insurance to all of California, including Merced, Atwater, Los Banos, Mariposa, Madera, Fresno, Modesto, Turlock, and Stockton.
CA License Number 0646081 | Licensed to do business in California, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington.
3187 Collins Drive
Merced, CA 95348
Phone: (209) 384-0727
Toll Free: (800) 221-0864
Fax: (209) 384-0401