Each state has different requirements and guidelines for businesses based ontheir industry, the impacts of COVID-19, and the amount of customer contact. Foradditional information on your state, check your state's official government'swebsite. Recently, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a state guide[https://bit.ly/2Lu7A40] for businesses. The Wall Street Journal created a freestate-by-state guide [https://on.wsj.com/3dIrOmF] for reopening and lockdowns.While each business runs differently, they all have similar operationsrequirements. This guide provides you an overview of steps you can take toensure a smooth reopening.Do your research.The most essential step in safely reopening your business is knowing howCOVID-19 impacted your area. There are many resources out there, but make sureto look for industry-specific and local resources.The Centers for Disease Control and PreventionIn addition to being a reliable news source, the CDC created resources designedfor small businesses [https://bit.ly/2WwGUWK] and their reopening guides[https://bit.ly/2T1KsOM]. The CDC also created industry-specific guidelines[https://bit.ly/35ZP5hB] for business impacted by COVID-19.Your State's Official Government WebsiteSince the path to reopening is in the hands of state government[https://bit.ly/2T1BwIT], governors and state officials are working to ensureresidents are informed about new state regulations or guidance around COVID-19. Plan policies around safety.Once you have an understanding of your state's guidance and regulations aroundreopening your business, there are several safety factors you'll need toconsider.Face CoveringsBased on your state's guidelines and regulations, your employees and customersmay be required to wear face coverings [https://bit.ly/3fNBRJi]. To prepare forreopening day, make sure to communicate this to employees and customers inadvance and create in-store signage. General HygieneWhile washing your hands and covering your mouth are ways to prevent the spreadof COVID-19, there are additional measures [https://bit.ly/2WuUERH] you have totake as a small business owner. Based on your industry, you may be required touse additional forms of personal protective equipment (gloves, face shields,goggles, etc.). To keep your employees and customers safe, make sure you haveextra in stock and are replacing contaminated or worn PPE.Workplace Controls and Health MonitoringIf your business has employees, you'll need to take extra precautions inensuring they feel safe coming to work and are healthy. OSHA created tips[https://bit.ly/2yV84O5] to monitor the health of your employees and controlsyou can put in placate to prevent the spread of COVID-19: * Encourage sick workers to stay at home * Establish alternating days or extra shifts that reduce the total number of employees in a facility at a given time * Provide workers with up-to-date education and training on COVID-19 risk factors and protective behaviors * Provide resources and a work environment that promotes personal hygieneSocial Distancing RulesBased on your state's guidelines and regulations, you may be required toencourage and practice social distancing. Before reopening day, see if you canreconfigure your location to meet these requirements and guidelines better. Thiscan include changing workspace layouts, limiting or removing shared spaces, andmore.Review what's needed for day one.Each business is different, but they all have similar operational needs. To getready for reopening day, make a list in advance and review what requires action.Some examples include, but are not limited to:StaffingBased on your anticipated order volume or traffic, plan for how many peopleyou'll need to meet your customers' demands safely. Consider some of OSHA'sworkplace controls [https://bit.ly/2yV84O5] when you're planning a schedule.RevenueIf your business was impacted during COVID-19, and you need assistance stayingafloat, there are several federal resources available like the PaycheckProtection Program [https://bit.ly/3fN6Dlf]. Our partner, Bench, is offering free loan consultations [https://bit.ly/3by7Yt4] for small businesses.LocationBased on your state's guidelines and regulations, you may be required to limitthe number of people allowed in your business at once to practice socialdistancing. To better plan for day one, see if there are measures (guide tape,barriers, signs, etc.) you can take to help enforce these policies.TimingAll states are reopening in different phases. To ensure you're following yourstate's guidelines and regulations, check your state's official website[https://bit.ly/2T1BwIT] for detailed information. As you create a timeline thatmirrors your state, plan in extra time to address unexpected events (productdelays, cleanings, state guidelines, etc.) that can occur during your reopening.Communicate.When you're ready to open your doors, you'll need to communicate with youremployees, vendors, and customers proactively. This step is pivotal in ensuringa successful reopening. EmployeesThe most important part of keeping your business afloat is ensuring youremployees are informed on your reopening plan, new policies and procedures, andwhat to expect going forward. Try to share this information as far in advance aspossible to capture feedback and answer any questions they might have.VendorsIf your business works with vendors, make sure you communicate with them asearly as possible to ensure your orders and supplies are ready. Similar to yourbusiness, they may have taken several reopening and safety precautions, whichcan cause delays.CustomersThe world is operating differently, so most customers expect your business willtoo. To provide transparency, proactively communicate [https://bit.ly/2yMobO3] these changes with them. Not only will this tell them what to expect, but it'sanother way to stay engaged with your customers.In addition to proactive communication, you'll need to create a communicationand marketing plan around your reopening. Review your plan and execute it.Now that you've taken the time to think about what's needed for day one andcaptured feedback from your employees, it's time to put your plan to action. If you have questions or would like support from one of our financial, business,or marketing professionals, please email firstname.lastname@example.org andwe’ll see how we can help.