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Tips & Resources for Businesses During COVID-19 Pandemic

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is real. That’s why we are encouraging all businesses to prepare and stand ready to implement strategies that will protect their employees, support customers, and mitigate risks. We have compiled resources and key points from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to aide local businesses in creating a strategy to protect their workforce while ensuring continuity of operations.

Be obsessive about hygiene

Stop the spread of the virus by following these health and safety tips from the CDC:

  • No handshakes: Use a non-contact method for greetings.
  • Wash your hands: Employees should wash their hands when they arrive and every time they enter the premises, as well as frequently throughout the day. 
  • Try not to touch your face, and remind employees to do the same
  • Constantly and regularly disinfect surfaces, including doorknobs, handrails, the POS system, tables and desks.

Keep your employees and your customers safe by being as proactive as possible about cleanliness.

Reduce meetings and travel

Try to keep opportunities for exposure to the virus to a minimum. Postpone non-essential meetings or hold them virtually. Skip any conferences or other planned business travel. If your workers get sick because of travel or meetings, you could have a liability issue on your hands, or you will have to manage low morale and sick leave requests.

With this in mind, please note that the following events are being postponed:

  • Thursday, March 19- Business After Hours at L’burg Golf & Country Club
  • Tuesday, March 24- Grand Opening for Summertown Construction
  • Thursday, March 26-LCSS Student Job Fair
  • Thursday, March 26-Leadership Lawrence Graduation
  • Monday, March 30- Grand Opening for Society American Nosherie
  • Tuesday, March 31-Ribbon Cutting for Gordman’s
  • Thursday, April 2- Chamber Coffee hosted by Shawn Promotions
  • Friday, April 3- Ribbon Cutting for Rev It Up Outdoor Equipment & More

Give employees flexibility

Schools across the country are closing, as are offices, stores, businesses and commercial centers. With the country slowly moving toward total lockdown, you will need to be flexible with your employees’ time. Some team members may have to leave unexpectedly if their child’s daycare closes. Others may have students who come home from school for spring break and aren’t able to return. Try to be as understanding as possible when something comes up and have a contingency plan in case you suddenly become short-staffed.

Shift your sales strategy to online

Chinese companies, forced to confront the reality of coronavirus shutdowns before most American companies, provide a blueprint for weathering this storm. As storefronts shuttered their doors and workers stayed in place, savvy business owners shifted their sales strategy to avoid heavy losses. 

For instance, in Wuhan, the cosmetics company Lin Qingxuan closed 40% of its stores — but the brand’s 100+ beauty advisors took to digital platforms like WeChat to engage customers virtually and increase online sales. “As a result, its sales in Wuhan achieved 200% growth compared to the prior year’s sales,” writes Harvard Business Review

If you’re closing your store, find ways to keep your employees earning a paycheck by selling on social media, putting your email list to good use or using a video tool to reach new leads.

Communicate transparently with your customers

Everyone is facing this crisis together, so be transparent about what your business is going through. Customers can empathize with brands facing a crisis, as long as you communicate with them properly.

Plan for the long term

Though China and other economies are already starting to recover, the spread of the coronavirus is still extending throughout the world, creating a ripple effect that will impact us for some time. 

Speak to your suppliers, investors, partners and local officials on a daily basis to learn how you can start to implement safeguards that will help you stay above the red while officials work to contain COVID-19. It might be a while until your small business gets back to business as usual.

Download these guides created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation based on information provided by the CDC, to learn more about how employers and employees can prepare for and address the impacts of the Coronavirus:

Local Resources & Announcements

Southern Tennessee Regional Health System is committed to providing the highest quality care and ensuring the safety of our patients, employees, providers, volunteers and visitors at all times. While COVID-19 is new, effectively responding to other infectious diseases is not. We have tested processes and plans in place to respond to situations involving infectious disease year-round. Here is what we are doing to stay ready and effectively respond to COVID-19:
We continue to work closely with Tennessee Department of Health and follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure that we are prepared with appropriate plans to detect, protect and respond should anyone in our community contract or be exposed to COVID-19.
We have a robust emergency operations plan in place and are reviewing and proactively completing a number of preparation checklists out of an abundance of caution.
We have hand hygiene products easily accessible throughout our facility.
We are screening patients in our emergency department, inpatient units and outpatient clinics based on CDC guidance.
Staff treating a potential COVID-19 case are provided with all appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to help prevent exposure.
Patients with respiratory or COVID-19-related symptoms are immediately provided masks to wear to help prevent exposure to others.
In the event that we identify a potential COVID-19 case, we will follow all CDC guidelines for placing that individual in isolation for their care and for the protection of other patients, employees and visitors.
These measures are in place to protect our facility and our community. Please know that our providers and clinical teams are well-trained and prepared to manage outbreaks of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, seasonal flu and other respiratory illnesses.
At the direction and encouragement of Governor Bill Lee, Lawrence County Director of Schools, Johnny McDaniel, has made the decision to close schools through March 31. Due to the ever changing situation, the closure could be longer. 
A meal plan is in place with details and updates available on the LCSS.us website as well as social media platforms. In addition, all school sports and school sponsored events are cancelled until further notice. 
The top priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of our students, teachers, staff, and the Lawrence County community.
In response to the COVID-19 situation that is a major topic of discussion at this time.  Lawrenceburg Utility Systems is prepared to maintain operations consistently as we would everyday. However, we would like to encourage our customers to take advantage of the various  ways of making payments. Using SmartHub, Payment by phone, Kiosks, and Drive-Thru services are great avenues to help with “social distancing” which is being recommended at this time.  Our offices are open to the public for all business currently, but if you have concerns or questions we encourage customers to call 762-7161
. We at LUS are very proud to offer the best service possible to our customers in this time of concern.
For the remainder of March, to do our part in keeping the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) to a minimum, we ask that our customers strongly consider conducting Loretto Telecom business over the phone by calling 931-853-4351 (press 3) or by using your SmartHub Login online at LorettoTel.com.
Loretto Telecom offers a variety of ways to access your account or make a payment:
– Call 931-853-4351 (press 3). You will need your account number.
– Visit www.LorettoTel.com and login to your Smarthub account. If you don’t have a SmartHub account, you can set one up from there. You will need your account number. If you need assistance setting up your SmartHub account, call our office and we will gladly assist.
– Drop box access is available at our main office location 136 S Main St Loretto. 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov) is keeping updated information on their website and we are closely monitoring it for the latest news on the virus. 
We will remain committed to providing exceptional customer service to our members and customers throughout this time. The health and well-being of everyone is the utmost importance.