20 Mar 4 Things To Consider As The World Faces The COVID-19 Pandemic
Yes, it is a best practice to have a well-planned, proactive business continuity strategy. Uncertainty is always constant in life just like change. To society’s advantage, we have the skills of intuitiveness, adaptability and flexibility to identify the journey through challenging times. Small businesses and their customers are key to the American economy and many of them (if not most) need coping assistance such as economic relief. Below are a few ideas that may be implemented pervasively to reduce the effect of the global COVID-19 pandemic:
Community. It is timely that we discuss working together using various social distancing techniques and hygienic best practices such as quarantining, appropriate hand washing, etc. Stay informed about the restrictions and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the expert healthcare community and other regulatory bodies such as federal, state and local governments. It is the consensus that the coronavirus should not be allowed to spread. Do your part to promote the healthiness of the community – local, national and global.
Outlook. Research and/or consult with a professional such as doctors on the effects of positive thinking on your health. What do you do to maintain your mental and emotional health? This is a question of deep reflection for many of us. Determine if there are free resources via local nonprofit organizations, telemedicine providers, etc. to assist you with being well.
Precaution. Unfortunately, disinformation including scams are prevalent as humankind faces the COVID-19 pandemic. Price gouging is a concern as the supply chain for goods is being tested. All consumers are encouraged to review whether the price of a product has increased by 25% over the price for that area over the last 30 days. Acquire more guidance on price gouging from your State’s Attorney General. Further, be mindful that accessing certain website domains may place malware on your computer. Furthermore, watch out for snake oil salesmen that offer fraudulent cures for COVID-19. It is a common practice to acquire advice from healthcare experts such as doctors, state and local Departments of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Consider if the popular adage, “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is” will reduce your exposure to deceptive marketing.
Economic relief. The responses to the COVID-19 pandemic on national, state and local levels involve initiatives adding liquidity (cash flow) into the economy. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act is scheduled to be approved by Congress next week. The CARES Act is trying to mitigate the health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for millions of people. State and local governments are also implementing plans including declaring a state of emergency. The below information is not a comprehensive list of economic plans but can be helpful to you:
- One of the provisions of the CARES Act is a stimulus plan with payments going to individuals and families. Most systems of rules (especially tax law) have stipulations, exceptions, thresholds and limits. As the CARES Act is enacted into law, we will find out more about the stimulus plan.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development is reported to have plans to mitigate foreclosures and evictions for 60 days on single-family homes with loans through the Federal Housing Administration. This provision appears to provide relief to borrowers and not renters. Let’s be on the lookout (if any) for national, state and local moratorium on housing for owners and renters.
- It is reported that the Department of Education will be suspending federal student loan payments without penalty and without accruing interest for at least 60 days.
- Research the requirements of your State’s Department of Labor Unemployment Compensation Benefits and finding a new job.
- According to the President, “small businesses are the engine of America.” Many state and local governments agree with the President and are implementing plans to assist employers and their employees. For example, the City of Birmingham has compiled a $15 million COVID-19 response package that includes the $1.2 million Birmingham Strong Fund. Alabama Senator Doug Jones has proposed a Small Business Lifeline Fund that includes interest free loans to fund payroll for businesses. Find out how your local business ecosystem is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These days, there is a lot going on in the world. Many people would identify these times as life. For many, these times are unprecedented, uncharted and overwhelming. A best practice is be a responsible citizen and carefully monitor your sources and intake of COVID-19 information. Best wishes!
Pierce, CPA & Advisors’ website, social media posts including blogs are meant to be used as informational guides and shall not be construed as providing any health, legal or accounting advice. A best practice is to consult with professionals such as government officials, healthcare experts, Certified Public Accountants, attorneys, etc. about your situation.