Sample Coronavirus Plan for Businesses

If you don’t have one, copy and paste this one:  

When the virus starts spreading near your business, a good plan is essential to the ensure the safety of your employees and the continuity of your operations.

The Founder Institute has formal chapters in 185+ cities and is one of the largest event organizers in the world, so we spent several weeks developing comprehensive policies (and emails to communicate and enforce those policies), and we used this experience to create a template for anyone to copy, edit and use below.

Novel Coronavirus  –  Startup & Small Business Plan Version 2.1 – March 15th, 2020

Response Overview

The novel Coronavirus COVID-19 has spread very rapidly worldwide and is the cause of a large number of deaths. Many countries have insufficient capacity for testing. At the same time, many people are infectious before they show symptoms. Therefore, it is likely that communities have a large number of people with undetected COVID-19. This is a risk for your team members, their families and your community.

According to the research, social distancing is the most effective method to slow down and halt the spread of COVID-19. Given the serious threat this virus poses to our vulnerable population and healthcare systems, we recommend that all companies immediately close down offices. This will help lessen the risk for your team, their families, and your community. Even if the number of cases in your community is low, it is vital to take action early due to the rapid spread of the virus.


Response Plan

Strong actions by companies and governments are required to Stop the Spread. Below are some recommended actions:

  1. Close your office to non-essential staff and all visitors.
  1. Determine who can work from home and for who it is absolutely necessary to be at the office.
  2. Supply hand sanitizer, wipes and other sanitization tools at entrances and other key locations.
  3. Adapt your office to accommodate for more distance between team members and ensure proper social distancing can be enacted.
  1. Set up technology and other ways of working to support remote work.
  1. Invest in reliable virtual communication tools such as Zoom and Slack.
  2. Ensure that your team members understand how to use your communication tools and which tool should be prioritized for specific use cases.
  1. Assign a primary and secondary contact person for your staff.
  1. Identify a point person to collect team member feedback, monitor the local situation and report analysis to the management team, ideally someone conservative.
  2. Empower the point person with the necessary authority to make quick decisions that can save lives.
  3. Review any ideas and concerns submitted with the company management team for implementation.
  1. Establish a management meeting and, if needed, a task force to keep track of the developments in your community and to adapt your response.
  1. Schedule regular weekly meetings with all team members to ensure that everyone is engaged.
  2. Schedule at least a bi-weekly check in with your task force to update your company response based on recent developments.
  3. Anticipate a loss in productivity from your team members due to the stressful situation and be sensitive to this fact.
  1. Reinvest the time normally spent commuting into building team morale and support.
  1. Expect higher levels of stress and anxiety among the team, as well as feelings of isolation from working remotely.
  2. Check in with your team members daily to ensure that everyone is holding up and managing the stress well, offering support as needed.
  3. Work to keep morale as high as possible to reduce the economic impact of the virus on your company.
  1. Consider ways to preserve capital and continue operations.
  1. Examine any effects of lost productivity due to working remotely, lost revenues due to business lowdows and delayed supply chains.
  2. Project a difficult economic climate for operations and financing that will last 90 days or more, depending on the strength of the local response.
  3. Conserve the necessary operating capital to operate through the impacted period and recovery, planning business alterations now to preserve the necessary capital.

Working Remotely

We are taking this unusual time as an opportunity to experiment with new ways of working.

  • Meetings – We will replace all in-person meetings with (Zoom/Uber Conference/Skype)
  • Collaboration – We will be using (Slack/WhatsApp/Email/Trello/Notion/Basecamp) to keep everyone up-to-date

We want to be successful working remotely and here are some best practices to ensure this:

  • Communication – Over-communicate about what you are working on. There is no such thing as over-communication, however, please use online notifications respectfully.
  • Tolerance – Assume the best of intentions with written messaging. Without in-person interaction, it may be harder to interpret the meaning and tone of a message.
  • Availability – Some team members may have family members at home to care for. Please advise your co-workers of your schedule and particular circumstances, so that we can best adapt work at this unusual time.
  • Scheduling – Divide your day in deep work when you prefer not to be disturbed, and shallow work when you are available to colleagues, and communicate that to your colleagues.

Staying Safe

Please be aware of your role in our community to help stop the spread:

  • Contact – Avoid physical contact, such as handshakes and kissing.
  • Hygiene – Wash your hands. Avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth and nose.
  • Events – Avoid events with 10 people or more and stay 6 feet away from others at events.
  • Coughing – Cover your mouth when coughing, ideally with disposable paper.

Mental Wellbeing

Please take the time to care for your mental wellbeing. Based on the World Health Organization’s guidelines, here are some helpful principles to follow:

  • Anxiety – If you are feeling anxiety, avoid watching, reading or listening to news that may increase your distress. Use news to take practical steps, and set aside a couple times per day to review the news, versus a continuous stream.
  • Stress – If you are feeling stressed, take a break and do something relaxing, such as reading a book or watching a television show.
  • Empathy – If you upset, be empathetic to the others around you that may also have higher levels of anxiety and stress.
  • Language – Be careful in the language that you use by being thoughtful in your working and byu  referring to “people who have COVID-19”, “people who are being treated for COVID-19”, and “people who are recovering from COVID-19.”

Resources

From CDC

Virtual Communication Tools

There are many virtual meeting and communication tools on the market. We have compiled a list below from companies that are best in breed. Some are offering special deals to its customers due to the virus:

What You Need to Know about the Paycheck Protection Program

Courtesy of Synovus Bank  –  https://www.synovus.com/personal/resource-center/?utm_source=wca&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=032820_SNV_Paycheck_Protection%20(9)&utm_content=www_synovus_com_personal_resource_c&spMailingID=32091300&spUserID=MzA1NjkwNzkwMDAwS0&spJobID=1664837733&spReportId=MTY2NDgzNzczMwS2

President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27. The legislation provides approximately $2.2 trillion of fiscal stimulus, including a $350 billion bank loan program for businesses referred to as the “Paycheck Protection Program.”

The new program provides financial assistance for businesses, including sole proprietors and independent contractors, with a focus on helping you keep employees on the payroll.

Here are some key highlights of how the program is expected to work:

  • Loan amounts to be based on your payroll costs — 2.5 times average monthly payroll costs up to $10 million
  • Potential for 100% loan forgiveness when the funds are used on specified expenses including payroll, mortgage interest, rent, and utility payments
  • 4% fixed interest rates with payments deferred for up to one year and no prepayment penalty.

Specific application requirements haven’t been determined yet for this program. Based on the intent of the loan and the assistance it seeks to provide, we recommend you start collecting the following documentation.

Needed to help you calculate the eligible loan amount:

  • Payroll reports for 2019 and 2020 year to date showing the following by employee and/or officers:
    • Gross wages
    • Paid time off
    • Paid vacation
    • Pay for family medical leave
    • State and local taxes (form 940, 941, or 944)
    • 1099’s for independent contractors (if applicable)
  • Completed 2019 tax return OR 2019 Profit and Loss Report and Balance Sheet
  • Documentation Showing:
    • Funds received in the form of an Economic Injury loan since 1/31/20
    • Payments for group health care benefits including premiums paid in 2019 to 2020 year to date
    • Payment of any retirement benefits paid in 2019 and 2020 year to date

Needed for verification of forgiveness amount:

  • Quarterly IRS forms 940, 941, or 944 for the following dates:
    • March 31, 2019 and June 30, 2019
    • March 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020
  • Documentation in the form of canceled checks, payment receipts, and bank statements showing payment of the following items from 2/15/20 to 6/30/20:
    • Mortgage Interest
    • Rent payments
    • Utilities

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