Shelby County Chamber launching business resource efforts

FROM STAFF REPORTS

With the impacts of COVID-19 on our Shelby County business community already in effect, in addition to good hand hygiene and common-sense precautions with your employees and patrons, The Shelby County Chamber encourages all local businesses to consider the following:

  • For your business: Prepare for negative economic impacts. Create, confirm or expand your line of credit. Develop staffing plans for varying levels of customers and revenue (what does an 80-percent scenario plan look like?). Check with your insurance provider to understand your coverage and options.
  • For your customers: Make your place of business as hygienic as possible and communicate what you are doing to customers so they feel comfortable visiting.
  • For your employees: Check, modify and communicate HR policies regarding remote working, sick-leave and compensation during health crisis. Try to ensure your policies are as flexible and non-punitive as possible. Sick employees should be encouraged to stay home.
  • For your workflow: Cross-train employees for key functions so that daily schedules can continue relatively uninterrupted by potential employee absences. Where relevant, consider staggering start and end times to reduce large numbers of people coming together at the same time; and create and test remote employee collaboration systems (consider apps such as Slack and Zoom).
  • For your cashflow: Communicate with your landlord (or tenants) and lenders about expectations and request flexibility (better to have that conversation now).
  • For yourself: Eat well, sleep and exercise. Taking care of yourself in this time of stress will improve your resistance to infection and resilience in managing difficult business situations. And of course, wash your hands all the dang time and don’t touch your face, or anyone else, for that matter.

Your Shelby County Chamber’s mission during these challenging times is to be a resource for you and your business. Your Chamber will be using our social media outlets and our website to share the latest information for our Shelby County business community needs today—and when we get past these challenging days.

Today, we are launching our #ShopShelbyCounty effort to allow businesses throughout Shelby

County to share the steps they’re taking to navigate through the days ahead. This “virtual” networking forum—just like businesspeople do while attending traditional Chamber events—will provide valuable information for our Shelby County businesses.

While we have postponed all of our traditional Chamber events and programs in the interest of public health, your Chamber will remain open as a “Handshake-Free Zone”. Please keep an eye on our website and social media outlets for resources to help your business weather this trying time.

With regard to resources, we are encouraging small business owners who may have already experienced “economic injury” to complete the Small Business Administration’s “Alabama Economic Injury Disaster Worksheet.” Completing this worksheet is a necessary and essential step for the State to request Disaster Assistance from the Small Business Administration.

Once the state’s request is approved by the SBA, small businesses may then apply for an SBA Disaster Loan.

Businesses may access the form by contacting the Chamber office at (205) 663-4542, or by visiting the Chamber’s website: ShelbyChamber.org.

Once completed, and signed, the form can be e-mailed to Roderick Perkins with the Alabama Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration at roderick.perkins@sba.gov.