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COVID-19: Tips as You Reopen Your Tioga County Business

COVID-19: Tips as You Reopen Your Tioga County Business

by University of Scranton Small Business Development Center - May 8, 2020

All businesses conducting in-person operations must review this guidance and commit to ensuring the health and safety of their employees and the public. Go straight to the source: www.governor.pa.gov/process-toreopen-pennsylvania and www.governor.pa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/20200504-COVID-19-BusinessGuidance.pdf for information such as:

  • 6 feet social distancing
  • Limiting number of people to 50% capacity
  • Requiring masks and posting signage
  • Cleaning and disinfecting building, workspaces, and common areas
  • Communicating procedures and requirements to employees and the public
  • Utilizing barriers, shields, registers, carts
  • Modifying business hours
  • Designating shopping time(s) for high-risk individuals
  • Determining alternative customer service plans appointment, curbside pick-up, online, delivery
  • Managing employee roles, shifts, breaks, space, numbers and workflow for safety
  • Continuing telework to prevent the spreading of COVID-19
  • Using virtual/remote meeting options with employees
  • Providing safety supplies to employees
  • Planning for probable/confirmed case exposure
  • Handling non-essential visitors

Keep Current on Quality Information

Be careful to use only reputable sources for information pertaining to your business. Avoid looking to random sources on social media to find answers. Examples of reputable sources include:

Focus on Your Customers

Now’s the time to pivot your business to meet changing customer needs and expectations.

  • Reach out to your customers to find out what they want/need from you and how they want to buy it
  • Think about products or services offered, delivery method, personal shopping option
  • Set simple and clear customer purchase options such as curbside pick up, online payment option
  • Make your business safety plans visible to your customers
  • Integrate a few new marketing strategies geared to attracting new customers
  • Collaborate with other local businesses for most impact and reach
  • Plan your grand re-opening, announce on social media, Facebook Live or boost a post
  • Remain consistent with social media messaging

Do a Weekly Review

In a constantly changing environment, it’s critical that you know where you stand at all times.

  • Review your revenues and expenses, and bottom line
  • Monitor customer purchases and utilize this information to carefully order future inventory
  • Continue to limit expenses, where possible
  • Re-evaluate your business hours based on revenues, customer demand, and ability to meet governmental guidance
  • Track use of any impact loan funds received carefully
  • Communicate regularly with your employees, thank them, gain their input
  • Try out a remote work tool for your team like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangout, Slack
  • Stay in communication and ask for help from your local small business service providers, such as the partner resources below, your accountant, attorney, insurance company, etc.
  • Develop a business disruption plan for the future

Additional Resources

The University of Scranton SBDC: www.scrantonsbdc.com

Mansfield Chamber of Commerce: www.mansfield.org

Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce: www.wellsboropa.com

Develop Tioga: www.developtioga.org

Northern Tier Regional Planning & Development Commission: www.northerntier.org

Credits:

Writing: University of Scranton Small Business Development Center