After more than six months of living under the threat of pandemic and attempting to maintain safe and sustainable operations for conducting business in such an environment, business owners have quickly and quietly become one of the frontlines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.
From restaurants and barbershops to mechanics and die casters, mask-wearing and social distancing policies among small businesses are allowing owners and employees to get back to work serving their clients and community.
But the battle is far from over, and business owners are quickly taking up the task as the new bulwark against the pandemic. This has included ensuring their businesses are operating safely while also investing in new equipment to facilitate those health measures.
An Ounce Of Prevention
In spite of the vigilant efforts of many business owners and individuals across the country, the United States is experiencing a devastating resurgence of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and, tragically, deaths. This has led to an increasing number of states and regions to reverse course on some of their reopening plans.
Given the drastic times the nation and the world find itself in, small business owners must continue to work diligently to prevent further spread of the virus. Not only for the sake of public health but also for the sake of keeping businesses open by avoiding the kind of spike in hospitalizations that resulted in the spring shutdown.
The first step that many businesses have already taken toward ensuring safe operations is reviewing and adhering to current OSHA and CDC guidelines. This includes monitoring your employees’ health, disinfecting surfaces after use and placing signage that informs guests of proper social distancing.
The Long Path Ahead
However, due to the indeterminate time-frame of the pandemic as well as the threat of other forms of disease spread, some establishments have gone further in retooling their establishments for the new normal.
One increasingly popular option in fostering better hygiene among staff and customers is installing new sinks and bathroom fixtures that time the release of soap and water in accordance with effective handwashing techniques. Plastic shielding has also grown in ubiquity as a means of further blocking particulates that might escape a facemask.
Other high-traffic businesses have invested in new purifying HVAC equipment, something that an increasing number of restaurants are being forced to consider as the colder months approach.
Of course, some businesses have found more creative ways to ensure the health and safety of their employees and patrons. Nevertheless, business owners should put increased thought into what the autumn and winter months will look like during a pandemic.
Defining The New Normal
Although there is some hope that a vaccine for COVID-19 will begin circulating sometime in the next 12 months, at the earliest, small business owners will have to spend those months fully embracing their role as vanguard to public health. And even beyond the current pandemic, business owners should look ahead to the potential of other disruptions to their business.
This year has thrown a lot of curveballs to individuals and small business owners alike. And while everyone has had to adapt to the “new normal,” the responsibility of ensuring the new normal is better and more sustainable than the old will fall to the small business owners who are able to change with the times.
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