Coronavirus and Your Portable Restroom Rental Business – 10 Things You Need to Know

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has sent the normal routine of the US American business sector into a surreal new existence. Business owners and their families, employees, customers, vendors, and neighbors throughout their industrial, commercial, and residential neighborhoods are still adapting to the necessary changes in daily life during a pandemic. It’s the community business owners, who, of course, are taking the lead in implementing the mitigation measures that are proving effective in helping to reduce the rate at which the virus has been spreading.
Meanwhile, business owners are also valiantly engaged in the struggle to keep their enterprises operating and financially secure. The challenges can be overwhelming. It helps to have the clearest possible strategy for managing through this pandemic. Below are some essential things all small and medium-sized portable restroom rental service organizations should do to help your business sustain itself and keep employees safe on the job during the COVID-19 outbreak.

What All Business Owners Need to Know During COVID-19

Many otherwise solid operating plans go out the window during a global pandemic, so even the best of business managers need to seek appropriate guidance from qualified public health and economic experts in such a rare and profoundly impactful situation as the current worldwide health and economic crisis.
The CDC, OSHA, the SBA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have all published important advice for small business owners. Altogether, the guidance offered by these agencies that are at the forefront of efforts to help businesses deal with the crisis needs to be integrated into daily business operations as well as into short-, medium-, and long-range planning.

10 Things You Should Do as a Business Owner During the Coronavirus Pandemic

To manage against the risk of infection in your workplace and to help minimize the adverse financial impact to your portable restroom rental business, and to protect your workers, customers, and others who enter your workplace, here are some essential tips from agencies tasked with advising on how you should proceed to meet those needs.

1. Communicate Transparently with Workers, Customers, and Vendors.

Remind workers that you understand their situation and that you’re dealing with the same difficulties. Be open about what you’re going through in managing your business through the economic shut-down. As it turns out, most people appreciate understanding when a business is going through a rough situation and is open about it, and they are likely to have a deeper appreciation for the service they receive.

2. Implement CDC Basic Anti-Viral Hygiene Protocols.

Advice to help reduce the spread of coronavirus includes these basics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
• Encourage workers to wash hands each time they enter the workplace and frequently while working.
• Discourage workers from touching their faces, as fundamental habit change, to prevent contracting the disease.
• Disinfect tables, countertops, door and drawer handles, elevator buttons, laptops, tools, and everything else that people in your workplace touch.
• Greet people you’re meeting with some gesture other than hand-shaking, to avoid physical contact.
• Remind workers to maintain a minimum of six feet distance from all other people, if at all possible.

3. Follow OSHA Workplace Guidelines for the Mitigation of Coronavirus Risk.

Carefully read OSHA’s various sets of applicable guidelines for your type of employer and for each type of employee you have in your workplace or working for your business in remote locations. OSHA guidelines for mitigating COVID-19 risks include these basics:
• Require PPE for all workers.
• Require social distancing of a minimum of 6 feet between people at all times.
• Repeatedly encourage frequent handwashing.
• Set staggered shifts to reduce the number of employees in the workplace during each part of the workday.
• Manage risks for each worker based on their medical condition, age, tasks, work locations, etc.
• Prepare your team for high absenteeism, by cross-training people to take over in other roles.
• Adapt your workplace environment to improve ventilation, reduce interpersonal contact, re-direct foot-traffic, spread out workstations, and otherwise reduce the risk of infection for employees, and others at your facility.

4. Switch to Online Sales and Service Operations as Much as Possible.

Switch as much as possible of your sales and customer service work to phone and online methods. Postpone any business travel plans, meetings, training sessions, etc. that require group assembly or public transportation. Or, start having meetings and training online, using any one of the many excellent virtual meeting applications. Help keep morale up by loosening policies regarding taking sick leave, for example, forego requiring doctor’s notes.

5. Allow and Encourage People to Work Remotely When Possible.

Be creative in finding ways for employees to stay out of the workplace facilities and work from home instead. Setup new systems and policies to maintain routine communications and quality checks, to allow workers to operate from their remote locations. Establish clear expectations for deliverables, and track performance levels.

6. Be Flexible in Accommodating Workers’ Needs.

Workers are struggling to navigate the new reality of their personal lives, with schools shuttered, local stores and services closed, even basic every-day products unavailable, and new habits incorporated into routine tasks at home and in public, to try to reduce risks. It’s stressful. So, it’s a time for patience and flexibility in accommodating employees who need to adjust schedules or leave work when a family needs suddenly come up.

7. Carefully Manage Your Business Financial Risks During and After COVID-19.

Develop contingency plans to overcome obstacles such as predictable production, shipping, and delivery delays during the pandemic. Expect cancellations of orders and breaks in the supply chain.
Also, try to attend the National Small Business Town Hall to be conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It’s the place to learn the latest information for business owners on helping keep your employees and customers safe and financially protecting your company.

8. Accept CARES Act Business Financial Help Through the SBA or Your State.

Go online to the SBA publication: The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act. Just paste the URL below into your browser to find and open the pdf file containing information about the new congressional CARES Act financial aid made available for businesses available through the SBA.
The SBA administers the program to help businesses keep people on staff, instead of being forced to let them go, and it is expected to help the national economy after the pandemic. Grants, loans, and other help available through the CARES Act include:
• The Paycheck Protection Program
• Economic Injury Disaster Loans
• Emergency Economic Injury Grant
• Small Business Counseling
NOTE: Be sure to ask about loan forgiveness terms.
Also, see the article published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce containing a comprehensive list of state emergency financial resources for businesses in every state. Just click on your state in the article to see the list of potential resources for your business.

9. Consider buying insurance coverage for future business interruptions

Especially if your business has been hit hard financially by the shut-down, think about obtaining some insurance to partially or entirely protect your company in the event of a repeat of the virus later this year. Ask your insurance carrier about policies, coverages, and rates for your business type and size.

10. Stay informed.

Seek information updates daily, from national and local public health officials, and follow all instructions and recommendations applicable to your business’s particular kinds of processes and workplace environment.
What Happens After the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Use the recommendations above and the resources accessible at the URLs below, to develop your business’s plan for mitigation of health and financial risks from the coronavirus. Even while COVID-19 continues to spread to new regions, there’s good news. Some areas where the virus’s rate of infection was once growing are beginning to recover from the pandemic and are starting to bring their economies back to more normal operations. So, we here in the United States can look forward to returning to normal daily routines too.
For now, important advice includes talk openly with your family and employees. investors, vendors, and local authorities. Collaborate with other business owners in your area. Share in establishing mutual health and business protections for your company and other business in your local area.
Small Business Information and Financial Resources
These are some resources offering tools to help you more thoroughly understand and communicate with employees, customers, and your community, and to plan for your business, and to take advantage of any federal, state, and local disaster relief benefits to which your business is entitled.

Resources for information on coronavirus help for small businesses:

OSHA: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf
CDC: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html
COC: https://www.uschamber.com/co/start/strategy/business-owner-tips-coronavirus-pandemic and https://www.uschamber.com/co/small-business-coronavirus
SBA: https://www.sbc.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/9/7/97ac840c-28b7-4e49-b872-d30a995d8dae/F2CF1DD78E6D6C8C8C3BF58C6D1DDB2B.small-business-owner-s-guide-to-the-cares-act-final-.pdf

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