researcher with a checklist for reopening during covid

Rene Cantu

Back in Business: Reopening During COVID


Reopening during COVID

As startups venture into uncharted waters, founders might tremble at the thought of unpredictability. The future for startups was clearer six months ago. Now, in post-COVID America, small businesses are left out in the cold. Confused and alone. What safety protocols do we need to implement? What’s a smart way to re-open our operations in a world completely different from the one we remember pre-pandemic? What’s does “the new normal” even mean?

States are reopening at their own pace now. They all have various new regulations and guidelines. Here, we’ll explore what it means to step out of your vessel and set foot into the new world for the first time. The post-corona world. 

Rethinking your office layout

“The old design of your office might not be congruent with current social distancing guidelines,” said Luke Hayward, business writer for The Funding Circle. Adopt a layout more in line with mitigation measures. This will increase safety precautions for your workers and customers. For stores, this means putting up plastic walls at the register or increasing aisle space. For offices, it means spreading out cubicles and workstations. 

“Another recommendation is to rethink your bathroom layout. Allowing one person at a time to use the bathroom keeps in line with CDC practices to reduce transmission in the workplace,” explained Hayward.

Make your changes known

If you don’t make known what exactly your new changes are, it will be hard for employees to follow along. Display signs in bathrooms and all throughout your office. “Send mass emails and occasional reminders to your customer base. It should be near impossible not to know what your business’s guidelines are,” said Hawyard.

Some business are even keeping sanitation stations around their office. These are places with spray, hand sanitizer, and wipes that you can use to clean doorknobs, surfaces, desks, computers, registers, and spaces around your work area. It’s best to display these with a sign that lets people know they’re for everyone to use. 

PPE is the way to be 

The CDC strongly suggests wearing a mask. Enforcing this measure will express to your customer base that you have them in mind. It’s a way of telling them you’re putting their safety first. 

With most businesses shut down for three months, revenue has hit a wall. Startups are struggling to even find ways to pay for sanitation station materials and personal protective equipment. 

“None of the relief packages have included specific funding for safety retrofitting, purchasing of safety equipment or even helping business getting a handle on uniform P.P.E. for employees and customers,” Amanda Ballantyne, executive director of the Main Street Alliance, told the New York Times.