Business Information Covid-19
ASK US: COVID-19 & YOUR BUSINESS
The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce (The Chamber) has launched a virtual portal for employers to submit questions relating to community response, best practices for businesses, guidance from local, state and federal authorities, available assistance for affected businesses, and more.
To submit your questions, visit Slido.com and enter the event code #ASK4BIZ (not case-sensitive). The Chamber will collect and aggregate questions and, in collaboration with local public-sector leaders and private-sector subject matter experts, post responses to frequently asked questions in as timely a manner as possible. You also have the opportunity to vote up questions that you believe are most important.
This service is for all businesses - Chamber members and non-members.
Questions can also be submitted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Responses will be posted on The Chamber's website at madisonbiz.com/covid19faq.
- Restaurants - Please check on the Public Health Web-site for updated information. Also, The Wisconsin Restaurant Association has a presentation (click here) with useful information.
- Secure Working Capital –contact lenders about opening a line of credit, securing a Kiva loan, building an operating reserve and doing other things to provide a financial cushion
- Infectious Disease Outbreak Response Plan/Emergency Response Plan – the Small Business Administration has guidelines for how to create a plan.
- Keep in Touch with Customers – Use email lists and social media to keep customers informed of the status of your business. Let people know about the steps you are taking to ensure your business is safe and sanitized. Let people know about planned closures.
- Keep staff lean – If a staff member quits, consider holding off on filling that position. Consider informing staff of potential reduced hours. Don't keep staff too lean incase you have an employee that must flex time due to illness or childcare
- Mental Health Resources – Share resources on coping during uncertain times to employees.
- Tell staff to stay home if sick – If a member of your staff has any symptoms, make sure it is clear that they are to stay home.
- Plan for adjusted hours – Make a plan for a scenario where you may need to close or adjust hours.
- Reduce Inventory – Try to sell off existing inventory and avoid building more
- Understand Supply Chains – Talk to suppliers about any potential upcoming supply chain disruptions. Make plans for alternatives. Keep up to date with pricing incase there are price increases.
- Focus on potential online services – Look for ways to beef up the elements of your business that do not require face-to-face contact with customers. Explore adding e-commerce options.
- Make a Plan to take advantage of the down time – If your business needs to close to customers, use the time to organize, catch up on bookkeeping, etc.
- Invest in technology to allow for remote operations – Make sure your home computer, phone, wi-fi, etc is prepared to allow you to operate basic aspects of your business remotely.
- Document impacts – Keep track of sales data and other indicators of how the virus disrupted your business. This information may be valuable down the road during post-virus recovery effort
- Security Systems – Make sure security cameras, locks, fire protection systems, and other security systems are in good working order.
KIVA is a non-profit lender that offers 0%/no fee loans of up to $10,000. In response to the effect COVID-19 is having on small businesses they have increased the ammount a business can borrow to $15,000, expanded their already low eligibility thresholds for borrowers and offer a grace period for repayment of up to 6 months.
The SBA is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The SBA also has support for businesses that will experience trade issues, manufacturing overseas issues, federal government contract issues and more. Visit the link above for details of the specific concerns of your business.
WEDC is coordinating with community partners to get grant funding out for small businesses. Please check on their web-site for updated information.
FEMA have information for businesses during a crisis and a template of a Business Continuity Plan to help business owners think through their needs during uncertain times
The SBDC supports small businesses with classes and counseling. You can call the Business Hotline 1-800-940-7232 or complete an on-line request to get the help you need.
WWBIC provides business assistance, loans and KIVA loans for businesses in Wisconsin.
OBR has information and resources to support small businesses in the City of Madison. Contact us at 608-267-8721 or e-mail us at email@example.com for information
Please call our Economic Development Staff at 608-267-4933 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.