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HughesNet Internet Continuity

A Reopening Checklist to Mitigate COVID-19 Risk and Maintain Small Business Continuity

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small business reopening checklist

As many businesses across the country begin to open their doors, they must develop plans to ensure that they are keeping employees and customers safe while keeping their business running. As a small business owner, you often have many unprecedented concerns, and it’s important to find innovative ways to allow your business to continue operations without compromising safety.

To help you navigate through these new experiences, we’ve developed a checklist with questions you can ask yourself to make sure that you are reopening safely and maintaining small business continuity.

Make a set of “no personal contact” rules

Your small business continuity plan should include a limit on physical contact and ensure your employees and customers are maintaining an acceptable distance.

Questions to ask:

  • In normal operations, where are employees and/or customers making contact?

  • Is this contact necessary?

  • For essential contact, can my employees use any Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to reduce the risk of transmission?

  • How can I educate employees on any new no-contact rules to ensure everyone understands our policy?

Encourage “no item sharing” whenever possible

Maintaining continuity of service shouldn’t mean that you have to share items. Shared items may include pens and pencils, staplers, computers, notebooks, file folders, or desks. We recognize that not all small businesses will be able to ban all shared work tools, but you should find ways to limit shared items wherever possible.

Questions to ask:

  • What are the essential tools that my employees use, and who uses them?

  • What are some shared items that my business can afford to supply to all workers?

  • Are there any PPEs that can help protect my workers from shared items?

  • How can I educate employees on new policies on shared items to ensure everyone understands our policy?

Reorganize your floor plan

Take some time to consider how your small business continuity plan can ensure that workers and customers stay at least 6-feet apart from one another. For example, stagger workplaces or adjust desks positions so that they face in different directions.

Questions to ask:

  • What are the essential space needs for my small business to continue operations?

  • What areas are underutilized today?

  • What are we using ____, ____, and ____ space for?

  • What areas will need barriers in place to ensure customers are maintaining the recommended 6-feet of space?

Invest in hand-sanitizing stations

As your business opens, you should provide hand sanitizer to both workers and customers to keep them safe and healthy.

Questions to ask:

  • Where is the best place to put hand-sanitizing stations?

  • How many stations does your business need?

  • Do you need to create signage for these stations?

  • How much will these stations cost your business?

Create appropriate face mask rules

While considering any federal and local laws, you should implement a policy on face masks that you feel is appropriate for your line of business to continue providing continuity of service to consumers.

Questions to ask:

  • What are the current face mask rules and regulations in my state?

  • How close are my employees to customers? How close are my employees to each other?

  • How long should our face mask policy last?

  • Do other companies in my area have face mask policies? What are they?

  • What are the consequences for employees who do not adhere to face mask policies?

Consider shifting your business’s hours of operation

The 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday may be changing as consumers favor distanced interactions between one another. Take some time to see if your small business continuity plan allows for an adjustment in hours of operation.

Questions to ask:

  • What are some out-of-the-box ways that your small business can reduce the likelihood of infection?

  • Could you stagger workdays into shifts where employees come at non-traditional workday hours based on their team or function?

  • What are the parts of your business operations that can remain remote?

  • How does increased cleaning affect your business hours?

  • Would employees consider working weekends for two days off during the weekday?

Document your policies to educate employees

After you’ve formulated your new policies, it’s critical that you document those policies in your small business continuity plan for employees to access and review. The best way to do this is to update your employee handbook. The employee handbook, if you don’t already have one, is a singular place for your company to publish policies, expectations, recourse for misconduct, and more to ensure that employees are aligned and set up for success.

If you are one of the many businesses waiting to reopen, now is the perfect time to prepare. Take some time to consider these questions so that your small business can get back on track when the time comes.