Unfortunately, small businesses and their hard working employees are hurting because of the COVID-19 outbreak. In order to help reduce the spread of the virus, many businesses have altered business hours or close their doors temporarily. However, there are many programs and resources available to support businesses and their employees during this time of need.
Already, some larger businesses have extended a hand to local entrepreneurs. For example, restaurant delivery services have waived all delivery fees for independent restaurants to encourage customers to still frequent their neighborhood eateries. Facebook has instituted a new $100 billion program to support small businesses that have been impacted by the crisis. And Bank of America has offered mortgage relief during this crisis. Check your bank to see what they are doing to help.
Other government funded programs–at the federal, state and local level–have been implemented to assist during this time of need. Forbes has released an extensive list of all programs that are available. This list will be updated on a rolling basis.
In the coming weeks, individuals can also do their part to support small businesses. By purchasing a gift card now for later use will go a long way for local shops and restaurants. You can find businesses in your area that are selling gift cards by visiting supportlocal.usatoday.com.
Employees of small businesses are also vulnerable during this time. If you or someone you know needs to apply for government benefits during this difficult time, visit careeronestop.org for instructions and additional information.
Continue to follow the guidelines that the government provides and remember, this will pass.