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Monday, May 11, 2020
Wyoming County Can Begin Reopening May 15; Here's an Outline of a Pre-Plan
Beginning to Re-Open New York
The Finger Lakes region (Wyoming County) is among those that the governor said on May 11, has met criteria to reopen. The governor also announced all retail businesses will be able to perform curbside pickup and drop-off going forward. He added essential retail businesses will continue to operate under their current protocols. Meanwhile, the state says it will allow low-risk professions such as landscaping, low-risk outdoor recreational activities and drive-in movie theaters to reopen.
The governor's "New York on Pause" order goes through May 15, at which time, regions that meet certain criteria can begin to reopen. Those that do not, will have stay at home orders extended through June 1.
NYS issues four-phased approach to reopening
Governor Cuomo outlined which industries and businesses can open in each phase of the state's 4 phase re-opening plan. Businesses considered "more essential" with inherent low risks of infection in the workplace and to customers will be prioritized, followed by other businesses considered "less essential" or those that present a higher risk of infection spread. Regions must not open attractions or businesses that would draw a large number of visitors from outside the local area.
The Governor also outlined new safety precautions that each business must put in place upon re-opening to help lower the risk of spreading the virus. Businesses will be required to:
• Adjust workplace hours and shift design as necessary to reduce density in the workplace;
• Enact social distancing protocols;
• Restrict non-essential travel for employees;
• Require all employees and customers to wear masks if in frequent contact with others;
• Implement strict cleaning and sanitation standards;
• Enact a continuous health screening process for individuals to enter the workplace;
• Continue tracing, tracking and reporting of cases; and
• Develop liability processes.
Consider the above information when crafting and drafting your business' plan to re-open. Per NYS Governor, these are the priority industries for re-opening:
Phase One: Construction/Manufacturing and wholesale supply chain/Select retail using curbside pickup only
Phase Two: Professional services/Finance and insurance/ Retail/ Administrative support/ Real estate and rental leasing
Phase Three: Restaurants and foodservice/Hotels and accommodations
Phase Four: Arts, entertainment and recreation/Education
Learn More about NY Forward Here you will find New York's reopening plan, with detailed information on businesses included in phases as they are announced, metrics about re-opening, and the NY Pause act.
The Covid-19 Pandemic of March 2020, led to a response that was unforeseen, and for businesses, largely unplanned. The closing of non-essential businesses coupled with shelter in place orders for most citizens has created a crisis environment for our economic well-being.
You must decide now how your business will be able to survive this crisis and remain in business. This is different than a simple business continuity plan, as the factors that have caused this crisis were out of your control. In this way, the effect that this has had on our business community is very similar to communities coping with large scale natural disasters! Many businesses in those communities were able to bounce back and recover as a result of good self-evaluation and planning.
Let’s examine some suggestions for planning your business recovery. Don’t waste the downtime!
If your shop or business is idle right now, use the time to organize. Is there a corner, shelf, delivery area, or spare room that you’ve been meaning to get to for months (or years!) to get straightened up? Do it now! Clean it up, straighten it around or throw it out! Maximize your ability to use your workspace to its best potential and productivity.
Take the time to make a full listing and accounting of all equipment, machinery, appliances, and material on hand. Is it perishable? Is it preservable? How long can I fill orders with the material I have on hand when I re-open? What would I need to get back to full operations? What do I need first? Then plan an initial order.
Begin analyzing your business processes. The priorities of your recovery plan should directly connect to your business priorities. So what are your priorities? At a basic level, this business impact analysis assesses which systems and applications are most critical to your organization’s functioning. There are two sides to this coin: the pieces that enable the crucial operations that run your business, and which of those pieces are most vulnerable to threat, loss, or shortage? Your business impact analysis and risk assessment should include both.
Plan your Strategy!
Your strategy is the high-level evaluation that looks at how the shut-down recovery fits into your business objectives and what it will take to implement it. It should consider things like:
Results from your self-evaluation, business impact analysis, and risk assessment
Budget – what do I have and what do I need?
Resource availability: what people, technology, and other physical assets can or should be included in the recovery plan, and how can you ensure their availability when necessary?
Technology: what tools will you use to support your recovery plan?
Data: how specifically is data handled and protected as part of your plan?
Write the Plan!
Your business recovery plan is the execution arm of your strategy. It translates your objectives into a tangible checklist of steps to follow to ensure that your business is protected. It should include:
The “why”: the objectives and goals driving the plan
The “what”: your critical IT systems, prioritized by business impact and risk, as well as their expected recovery times, authentication tools, etc.
The “who”: the roles and responsibilities of each involved person.
The “when”: Clearly define the timeframes by which tasks must be completed or implemented.
The “where”: any geographical considerations, including the availability of material for ordering
The “how”: specific action steps required to restart, reconfigure, and recover. This will also include technological considerations, such as the use of data backup tools.
Test your plan!
Like the fire drills we all went through growing up, it’s not enough to only create a plan, you need to ensure that it works! This step is notoriously neglected. Annually, only 40% of companies test their plan, and more than a quarter test “rarely or never.” Why? It can be time-consuming, complex, and resource-intensive. It can also, however, identify gaps, incorrect assumptions, technology issues, process inadequacies, missing elements, plan inconsistencies, human resource problems, and more – all of which could play an indispensable role when it’s not a drill.
Recognizing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on our small business community, the Wyoming County Business Center Board of Directors established the Re-Start Wyoming Loan Program. The purpose of the loan program is to provide assistance to small businesses in Wyoming County, New York that have been impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis and to help “re-start” their businesses as governmental orders restricting business operations in Wyoming County are eased or lifted.
Funds may be used to:
1. Provide eligible borrowers with funding to modify current business operations to adapt to governmental orders imposing restrictions on business operations.
2. Provide eligible borrowers funding to assist in the re-opening of their businesses within 30 days once governmental orders have been lifted.
3. Provide eligible borrowers with funds for payroll support, rent assistance, payment of utilities, replenishment of inventory, employee health care and accounts payable.
Applications will be accepted from May 8 until July 31, 2020 and reviewed in the order received. They will continue to be processed until July 31, 2020 or until the funds are depleted. Read the press release here
The US Chamber has created the "Resilience in a Box" web resource based on best practices and designed to educate newcomers on business resilience. Small businesses are both highly vulnerable and can be without adequate resources to focus on preparedness actions. These resources will guide companies toward addressing preparedness issues while building in flexibility to handle potential business interruptions.
You will find creative & informative resources for your business to assist you during the COVID crisis. They include marketing tools, support & assistance being offered, as well as links to webinars and other resources to help you navigate these challenging times.
OSHA has prepared a publication Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19. This guidance is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations. It contains recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards. The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content, and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace.
Guidance on Effective Cleaning protocols and plans