Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Resources

Businesses and employees have faced both restrictions and closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Where businesses are open, precautions need to be taken to reduce the risk of infection between both employees and customers. 

Check out our resources and checklist below to protect your business against any risk. 

How to move your business forward

What are best practices for business?

Staying responsive at this time of uncertainty is something your audience will appreciate. As the lockdown begins to ease, it’s certain that your resources will be stretched thin. Therefore, you should prepare now for inbound questions and requests. Provide a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding your business. 

Remember, now more than ever people appreciate honesty. Instead of ignoring hard to answer questions, admit that you may not know the answer but highlight what you’re doing to find out. 

Prepare a plan about how your customer services will operate as business begins to return. Try to take some pressure off once your business re-opens by putting these systems in place now. 

Stay up to date by following credible, official sources so you can act fast to changes that affect your business. Visit www.gov.uk regularly to stay informed about changes to government regulations. Follow the World Health Organization (WHO) for updates to the pandemic. Check out news and info from your local government health department regarding changes in your area of business. 

It’s also essential for business owners to take steps to protect their staff from the pandemic. Identify where you can make changes in your business and ensure social distancing is implemented. Where possible it may be important for business premises to be altered to ensure proper ventilation and social distancing is possible.

Many businesses have taken strides to offer products and services online. Some companies have opted for hosting live sessions & events to replace in-person services. Others have began selling digital gift cards to be used once lockdown ends. Having a responsive and easy-to-use website is now an essential asset for a business to have. 

Now may also be the time to increase your store’s social media usage. Reaching out to your audience and keeping communication going during the COVID-19 pandemic may be a key way your business survives it. 

If your organisation isn’t that tech saavy, it may be worth getting in touch with an external agency. Here at Hutch, we offer a range of digital services for businesses. Speak to us today about how we can help you bring your business online. 

If you’re a business based in the UK, there are a number of government support options that you may benefit from. Visit the gov.uk website to find out what help is available for your business. With a number of loans, grants and tax reliefs available – it’s a good idea to know what’s out there for your business. 

If your business is struggling with paying the tax you owe, HMRC have a dedicated coronavirus helpline. Speak to them today by calling 0800 0159 599. The government are also offering a VAT deferral scheme which could be vital for your business. 

Do you have business insurance? Some plans may be able to cover damages or theft due to property being vacant during the pandemic. Check the terms and conditions on your plan, however, it’s important to note that coverage usually doesn’t apply to a pandemic. 

It’s been proven that in times of crisis people come together to help each other out. Being seen as a support to the local community during the pandemic could earn potential benefits after the lockdown ends. 

With the travel ban imposed by governments across Europe, many households have become more aware of the businesses local to them. With proximity and convenience being of high importance for consumers, 53% of survey respondents claimed they would look to support local cafes, bars and restaurants post-lockdown.

Five steps for businesses to operate safely

  1.   In order for a business premises to be deemed safe, employers should carry out a COVID risk assessment in line with HSE guidelines. The results of this should then be communicated to employees and customers. 
  2.   Encouraging staff work from home (where possible). Businesses should also ensure staff have all necessary equipment and access to work systems. 
  3.   Ensuring an increase in hygiene procedures and setting clear guidance to staff and customers. Businesses must encourage people to wash their hands properly and frequently. 

4.   Maintaining a 2 meter social distance between people (if possible). Businesses need to communicate this through out their premises by hanging appropriate signage, marking floors and arranging one-way traffic (if needed). 

5.   If people cannot be 2m apart, employers must manage the risk of transmission. The installation of screens or managing back-to back working to help protect staff is a solution to this.

Businesses should also evaluate if an activity needs to continue and is worth the risk. 

Additional links & resources