10 Ways Business Owners Can Offer Financial and Related Support to Employees During COVID-19
Millions of workers have been displaced due to COVID-19. The future looks bleak for millions more as what was supposed to be a couple of weeks of closures has now gone on for months in some areas.
If you’re a business owner, no matter what sector you operate in, you’re feeling some economic impact from the virus. If you manage employees, those effects are likely to trickle down to them.
With unemployment lines becoming overwhelmed and state budgets being tortured with no guarantee of being able to fulfill requests for financial support, you must do what you can to keep your employee’s paychecks coming in.
If you’re not sure how you can support your team to that end, here are some suggestions.
- Take Out a Business Loan
While banks are being cautious about lending, if you have the credit, you can still borrow money. Taking out a business loan during a time like this could give you the financial support you need to then pass down that support to your employees.
The federal government is offering low-interest loans to qualifying businesses. These loans have deferred payments and in some cases, can even be forgiven.
- Understand and Claim Government Intensives
On the subject of government incentives, several programs are being launched at a state and federal level that can help support your business. The most widely touted program is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This benefit will award you an influx of cash to ensure that you can keep filling out that free pay stub template you may use and pay your team for as long as possible.
Like some of the other loans being offered by the government, there are conditions where money borrowed through the PPP can be forgiven if used appropriately.
- Find Innovate Ways to Stay Open
If government incentives and bank support aren’t enough to keep your company running, you may have to get innovative to generate your own financial support. Looking at restaurants, many have offered curbside pickup for both food items and alcoholic beverages.
Is there an unconventional way your company can keep operating, at least to the point that it can generate enough income to get by in the interim? A spark of inspiration could mean the difference between your team having food on their tables or not so think hard on what possibilities exist.
- Abide by New Sick Leave Requirements
One of the greatest ways that people can help society as a whole during this time is to stay home when they’re sick. The problem is that many employees don’t because when they stay home, they don’t get paid.
The federal government has passed emergency protections that require employers to pay sick leave. These requirements and the support the government will offer to help shoulder that burden are outlined here.
By abiding by those rules and making the process as streamlined as possible for your employees, not only are you offering them financial support but you’re doing your part to help flatten the curve.
- Talk to Your Team Before Acting
When money is tight, taking intimidate, drastic action to mitigate damage may seem like the way to go. Before you take those steps though, particularly if they’re related to eliminating your workforce, talk to your employees.
If your employees can be made privy to the challenges you’re facing and be offered a chance to pose solutions, you may find comprises to lay-offs (pay cuts for example) that assist with the problems you’re facing without cutting your team off altogether.
- Reassess Investments
At a time like this, the best way you can spend your money is to help support your team. That may mean forgoing investments that you had slated for this year (remodels, menu redesigns, etc.) and filtering budgets from those buckets into paychecks.
- Be Politically Aware
What governments deem and don’t deem essential is going to have an impact on your company’s viability and your ability to pay your employees. That’s why it’s important to note how governments are categorizing businesses and to fight for your company’s ability to exist.
Call your representative and make it clear to them that you have protocols in place to keep employees and patrons safe. Keep the pressure on so you’re not ignored when the next wave of business openings roll through your area.
- Create a Safe Work Environment
Before opening, you’ll likely be required by your locality to put special precautions in place to help curb the spread of the virus. We recommend not only complying with those guidelines but going above and beyond to protect your team.
After all, nothing is more financially straining than getting sick and potentially being admitted into the ICU.
- Take a Loss, If Possible
Sometimes, no matter how you play your cards, there’s no way for a business to turn a profit at a time like this. In these cases, we challenge you to assess whether or not your company can afford to take a loss to support your team.
How you step up in this difficult moment will speak volumes to how employees and customers will see your business’ character for years to come.
- Act Responsibly As New Challenges Arise
It may be that we haven’t seen the full ferocity of how COVID-19 will affect our lives. As new challenges arise, continue balancing your obligations to your business, to public safety and to the people that rely on you so we can collectively mitigate the control that this virus has over society.
A Little Financial Support Can Go a Long Way for Vulnerable Populations
You might not think that offering your employees something as small as portions of their paychecks during a time like this can have a big impact. We’re here to tell you that every bit of financial support you can give during this time can make all the difference to someone living paycheck to paycheck.
For more advice on how to navigate today’s challenges, review additional content our team has available in our digital publication.