Now is a critical time to support small business in the ways that you can. Can you call or Facebook or email to place an order? Can you order something to be mailed or picked up? Do you have some off-site work that can be done by a small business?
As a business, have you shared your updated information to communicate your menu, product list, or other offering that can help, right now? Have you communicated with your customers and vendors?
Economic development relies on transactions.
While we must be vigilant about health of individuals, it’s also critical to mitigate how COVID-19 and necessary/prudent health practices/mitigation create new circumstances demanding attention, navigation, creativity, and resilience. This affects the health of our communities, businesses and workforce, too — and we must consider this a trigger to stimulate our resilience, as well as a reminder to support small business in the ways that we can, without over-compromising the health of our communities physically or economically.
All disasters are local. This one is personal. No “walk of life” is immune. Following credible information from the CDC and practicing resilience can help improve how we navigate COVID-19 now…
1) As an individual, business, or community, we all have responsibilities to follow the state and federal guidance
Shelter in place (Stay home unless seeking medical attention, groceries, or you are well enough to pick up take-out)
Wash hands, instill cleaning and disinfectant procedures
2) Thank you, businesses, for adapting quickly and maintaining consumer and other industries’ needs…and for increasing your activities to improve safe opens.
Keep your workplace safe and your workers.
Register your business to receive updated communication, notifications, and helpful guidance via email from the State Fire Marshal’s Office specific to your business type.
These notifications will answer important questions like:·
· When can I partially or fully open my business?
· What are the steps to open my business?
· What changes can be expected for businesses that have been operating, but with restrictions?
· What restrictions are my business subject to, if any?
· Are there any new sanitation requirements for my business?
· Are there any personal protective requirements (masks, gloves, etc.) for my employees?
Keep up with your records. Opportunities may become available to help you navigate/sustain your business, and your records will be vital to completing loan or other applications.
Consider who potential partners are to fill your sourcing needs or how you may fill those of an essential provider. If you aren’t sure, reach out to KD, CLEDA, or the Chambers of Commerce and we’ll do our best to help you connect.
3) Stay informed. Maintain communication while social distancing. Use online and social media to get and to share information.
Louisiana 211.org – Louisiana 211
Louisiana Department of Health – LDH Coronavirus Updates
Louisiana Economic Development Business Hotline 833-457-0531 toll free hotline M-F 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
For COVID-19 business questions, LED may be reached at LEDbiz@la.gov or via the toll-free hotline, (833) 457-0531. The COVID-19 hotline is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Be aware that high call volumes might result in delays. Callers are encouraged to keep trying, leave a voice mail or email.
Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center – LABEOC on Facebook
SBA Disaster Loans – Disaster Loan Assistance
CLEDA partner Communities Unlimited – Communities Unlimited FAQ about SBA Disaster Loans
Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce – CenlaBusinessNow-Come Together Locally
Unemployment – Louisiana Workforce Commission information
Local Restaurants Open (clearinghouse) – Open4BizLA.com
State of Louisiana Emergency information – Emergency.LA.gov
Federal collection of COVID-19 info – USA.gov/coronavirus
Healthy communities require physical health, individual resilience, adaptability, and commitments to creativity –for staying the course and supporting the local businesses that we prudently can.
1) Clean and disinfect; check the CDC website for current and accurate information;
2) Practice physical (social/interpersonal) distancing to support mitigation and prevention of COVID-19 or other diseases/colds’ spread; Observe the Governor’s order to shelter in place.
3) Use alternate “tools” to connect socially (phone, text, email, mail, online apps/go-to-meeting, skype/facetime, etc.);
4) Help our local businesses and workforce in the ways that you can with telework, online ordering/drive-thru, etc.; Perhaps, you can stagger timing of essential workers to improve social distancing while delivering services.
5) Contemplate and consider how you can responsibly still support local businesses with online ordering, phone-in orders, drive-thru, etc.;
6) Be sensible and considerate of those who are impacted, more susceptible, or otherwise anxious or distressed by these measures to protect as many as possible;
7) Respect our law enforcement, governing agencies, and businesses — all who are doing their best to compensate and navigate and mitigate.
State of Louisiana guidance on Essential Worker Functions
Guidelines from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) identify critical infrastructure and essential workers needed so as to maintain government agencies, national security functions energy, and utilities, supply chains, communications, medical systems, banks and financial institutions, critical supplies such as groceries and pharmacies, and other activities that Americans depend on daily and need to be able to operate resiliently during the COVID-19 pandemic response.
Examples of Essential Worker Functions under the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidelines include:
• Healthcare workers and caregivers
• Mental health and Social Service workers
• Pharmacy employees
• Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies and other retail sales of food and beverage products
• Restaurant carryout and quick-serve food operations and food delivery employees
• Farm workers
• Electricity and Utility Industry Employees
• Critical Manufacturing Employees (medical supply chains, energy, transportation, food, chemicals)
• Petroleum, Natural and Propane Gas Workers
• Transportation and Logistics Workers
• Communications and Information Technology Employees
• Financial Services and Banking Industry Employees