Businesses and organizations reopening and in recovery in New Jersey have many operational questions and challenges that can be addressed through state and federal resources.
Examples of operational questions businesses need to address include:
- Complying with state and federal guidelines to maintain a safe and healthy environment for my employees and customers;
- Complying with state and federal employee laws and regulations arising from COVID-19;
- Reviewing and updating employee handbook in consideration of implications due to COVID-19;
- Determining status of previous vendors and suppliers and identifying new ones if needed; and
- Identifying availability of financial resources with technical assistance to apply.
Business and organizations are encouraged to review and address the following areas:
- Health – Addressing and improving physical and mental health due to the coronavirus is important. From employees to vendors to customers, everyone has been impacted. The firm’s response to questions about health maintenance will assist everyone’s return. NJ Mental Health Cares Helpline: For emotional support dealing with stress, anxiety and depression due to COVID-19, speak with a behavioral care specialist at 866-202-HELP (4357) daily from 8am-8pm. You can also text NJHOPE to 51684.
- Employment Practices – Employee health is only one part of the pandemic’s impact. Businesses are encountering areas such as remote working, staggered shifts, data security from a home-based office, and other topics. Contact NJBAC at 1-800-JERSEY-7 for assistance in directing you to resources to answer these questions.
- Financial Planning – As businesses reopen, it is not clear how quickly customers will return. Further, reduced capacity will limit the number of customers present at any time. Cash flow projections with different scenarios will help businesses anticipate and plan for the future demand. Contact your local SBDC office for counseling on financial issues.
- Communications – Timely and effective communications across distributed operations became important to businesses and organizations. After reopening, and while adjusting to post-COVID-19, expect methods of communication with employees, vendors, and customers to continue evolving.
- Customer Interactions – Selling goods and services has changed. Facilitating transactions with customers through contactless payments, online orders, delivery, pickup, and other methods will assist everyone during this period.
- Marketing – Customers are adapting to changes in their respective routines and traditional marketing efforts may need to be reviewed. An expanded online presence through expanded social media, video conferencing, or other technologies may help.
- NJ Business Action Center – The state agency is the one-stop shop for all business questions and challenges concerning business operations, interacting with state, local and federal governments, financial resources and expansion and relocation. Call NJBAC at 1-800-JERSEY-7.
- New Jersey Small Business Development Centers – The (NJSBDC) network provides assistance to small and medium businesses around the state. Access the NJSBDC at www.njsbdc.com.
- SCORE – SCORE’s network of volunteer business mentors helps small businesses get off the ground, grow, and achieve their goals. Access SCORE at score.org.
- New Jersey State Library - The Reference Staff of the State's library provide access to knowledge for civic organizations and businesses. Access the New Jersey State Library at https://www.njstatelib.org/.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) - COVID-19 - Measures for protecting workers from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). These measure may be accessed at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/controlprevention.html.
- Center for Disease Control (CDC) - Businesses and Workplaces - Plan, Prepare, and Respond - Includes resources for Deciding to Open, Ongoing Mitigation Strategy, Prevention and Support. These resources may be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html.
- Additional State and Federal Guidelines may be found at https://faq.business.nj.gov/en/articles/3839687-what-mitigation-protocols-are-required-for-operating-businesses . Select industries in New Jersey have additional state policies that must be followed. Review all mitigation protocols for businesses operating in New Jersey before planning to reopen at cv.business.nj.gov
- For the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's return-to-work playbook for employers.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's report on reopening and preparing workplaces for COVID-19.
- The Center for Disease Control's recommendations for employers to prevent the spread of the coronavirus when they reopen their offices.
- New Jersey's PPE Supplier Registry connects suppliers of personal protective equipment with potential buyers. (Notice from the state: Parties are strongly advised to exercise due diligence when selecting vendors and are responsible for ensuring the quality and regulatory compliance of all goods/services purchased).
- The United States Small Business Administration’s information on applying for Paycheck Protection Program loan.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's guide to applying for loan forgiveness under the federal Paycheck Protection Program.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's video on applying for Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Survival Guide has a complete listing of all of the coronavirus resources for small businesses.