Update: Resources for Small Business on COVID-19March 5, 2020
Fears over an outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the U.S. continue to grow, and NSBA has compiled a variety of resources that may be of use in your small business. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has put together a detailed list of strategies to minimize exposure to employees which includes: encourage telework where possible; enable sick employees to stay home; establish a flexible plan for employees who need to stay home and/or care for a sick family member; clean and sanitize common office spaces; and reach-out to other common business partners they rely on for services and/or products to have a good understanding of what they are doing to minimize risk of exposure to COVID-19.
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NSBA also has set up an online portal for small businesses to share how their business is being impacted in order to provide real-time insight to reporters and policymakers on what small business needs. We have been connecting small-business owners with reporters to get the word out about how the virus is impacting them which has resulted in some important coverage featuring NSBA members here and here.
Click here to share your story.
Small-business owners should also be aware that there may be some OSHA-related implications when it comes to the virus. Companies in certain industries where workers are at risk of encountering infection may be subject to requirements to protect workers from exposure by using appropriate personal protective equipment such as gloves, eye, face, and respiratory protection. If a worker becomes sick after exposure on the job, it could be a recordable illness.
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In addition to these resources, it is worth noting that the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship sent a formal letter and request to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to detail its plan to support small business in the case of a broad outbreak. Committee Chair Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-Md.) have also requested a formal briefing from SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.
That letter can be found here.