Small Business Tips for Dealing with Social Distancing & the COVID-19 Pandemic
A month ago, I could not have imagined what this week has been like. Today, I spent a large part of the day making plans for homeschooling my kids while also working at home. Luckily, I normally work from a home office and unlike many others, I can pretty easily do a majority of my work in the evening. I truly feel for those who work in retail, entertainment, hospitality, or have jobs that require them to come in contact with the public. While I agree that these measures to flatten the curve of COVID-19 are necessary to keep the people safe, I also worry about the economic effect this pandemic will have locally and globally.
While there isn’t much we can control right now, here are some tips that may help:
If your job is directly effected by the Coronavirus pandemic, you can file for unemployment relief. It’s been recommended that people wait until the emergency unemployment legislation is passed (in Maine) and that looks like it will be Tuesday night (3/17). Here is a link for more information on how to do this: https://www.newscentermaine.com/article/money/how-to-file-for-unemployment-in-maine-if-your-job-has-been-affected-by-coronavirus/97-cc9d3527-46b6-486d-a08a-91a0c9fb07a5?fbclid=IwAR0CG48erGlWW0mfOLCvRTc11NaBZ2o3Zxbqo7820i2LSLeN_I-OGTNZMFI
This pandemic impacts virtually everyone on the planet, and will impact every business as well. It’s important to communicate what changes your business is implementing in response. My suggestion is to put a COVID-19 statement in a blog post, then add it to your website as a banner at the top of all your pages (see the image example below). If you have a WordPress website, this is easily achieved with a plugin like “Easy Notification Bar”. Also make sure to share a link to your post on social media, and through email if you have an email list of your customers.
If you need help communicating with your customers online, call us, we can help!
Just because people are discouraged from meeting in-person, that doesn’t mean you need to cancel meetings or even workshops. There are plenty of online resources that allow you to have meetings and workshops virtually. For meetings you can use apps like FaceTime and Skype, personally I like Zoom. They even have a webinar platform that would be perfect for conducting workshops or larger meetings!
We’ve already had an uptick in people trying to hack into our servers and websites. Sadly there are people who try to take advantage during trying times, and computer hackers are definitely on this list. IMPORTANT: This is not unique to the Zebralove server, every server and web host will be impacted by these heinous attacks. If you see any unusual activity on your website or email please contact us immediately.
For those of us who are able, it's important to still support our local businesses and TRY to keep things as normal as possible. For example, even though Maple Syrup Sunday is canceled, some of the sugar houses in Maine have websites that allow you to purchase online. I purchased for Hilltop Boilers today and 30 minutes later a car pulled up to deliver my syrup! How awesome is that?! Keep in mind, I live very close to this business so most of you will not have such a speedy delivery. Note, this is not a website we built, I just had such a wonderful experience I need to share. Isn't it a nice heartwarming story to end with? https://hilltopboilersmaplesyrup.com/
In the end, life will go on, but these are trying times and we need to come together while apart!
Milly has nearly 15 years experience in designing and developing websites, developing apps, and online marketing. She is an expert at driving traffic to websites utilizing SEO strategies and custom digital marketing efforts. Her company, Zebralove Web Solutions offers full service digital marketing and website development. Comprehensive Search Engine Optimization services, and secure web hosting services.Contact Author