HOW COVIC-19 EFFECT ON LOCAL BUSINESSES
The COVID-19 disease caused by the new strain of coronavirus, and coronavirus symptoms, has posed an epidemiological threat to the world, sending disruptive waves to businesses and global markets. Coronavirus, which originated from Wuhan, China, a nation that controls 16.3 percent of the world gross domestic product (GDP), has had a shaking impact on world economies.
The first protective measure that the health organizations have put forward is social distancing and quarantine, which means individuals would choose to avoid activities that would expose them to the risk of infection; therefore, staying indoors. This means there will be a strain in the demand and supply sides. The disturbances decrease both the supply and demand for goods and services. For example, low demand for products by consumers will disrupt supply chains leading to the companies dealing in assembly and manufacture and other auxiliary services to stall temporarily or come to a total shutdown.
Another area of business that will be affected is the financial market. The reduced borrowing from financial organizations. Since the coronavirus will have an impact on households, companies, and governments, debts will surge upwards due to the non-servicing of loans. High-interest loan rates will make businesses shy away from borrowing, and thus leading to the closure of those firms that cannot maintain their operation costs.
If you take into account, the critical financial markets fall over the years, and coronavirus ranks in fifth place following the Great Depression. For instance, investors in the United States alone have lost more than five trillion dollars in share market value. The U.S markets have a significant effect on global markets. Investors fear for their stock make knee-jerk reactions that send shocks to the trading world. Some of the ripple effects like overpricing of some stocks will require massive investment for a readjustment to get to equilibrium.
Mitigation Measures for Local Businesses
- Monitor information issued by the government. The government is forced to put in place rescue measures to help local firms to stay afloat. Business owners should remain apprised on government communication always.
- Identify critical areas in your line of operation that must keep running. This would not only ensure that you remain in business but also keep your customers' confidence in your reliability. Evaluate if it is possible to implement a work from the home program as a means to minimize close interaction and connecting isolated employees.
- Information should be readily available in your company relating to the company's position on the preventive measures to be practiced by your employees. Vital issues such as sick leaves and paid time offs should be discussed, and resolutions made available for each employee.
- Re-evaluate the cleanliness procedures. Ensure hand-washes are readily available, and work areas are frequently sanitized. Employees should be given primary hygiene education on no-touch practices to curb the spread of common cold or flu.
- The critical point for everyone is not to panic. It is prudent to hire an HR consultant if you do not have one to communicate the policies that will be used when employees fall ill. Also, establish a protocol for employees that have to travel to or from affected areas.
It is not all doom and gloom for the local business, the flipside to all this is, companies can leverage information technologies to work in their favor. This is an opportunity for businesses to run online advertising for their products and give a safe online payment portal and a convenient delivery system to ship the products directly to the customer's home to minimize contact.