To say that COVID is the story of 2020 to date is an understatement. While the Presidential election and BLM have both made a lot of headlines too, nothing quite matches the deadly pandemic, which has hit the world by storm and certainly made its presence felt in Baltimore. With over 150,000 cases recorded in Maryland to date, it is something which everyone is only too aware of.
Of course, the business sector and local economy across Maryland has taken a real hit. This has left many smaller businesses in Baltimore worried about what the future may bring. With COVID rules still in place in one shape or form, the ability for firms to operate as usual is severely restricted. The other big worry for entrepreneurs is large, unexpected expenses showing up when their revenue is down. If you own a small business and are worried about this, here are some ideas on how to protect yourself.
Make sure you have insurance to cover you
In the COVID gripped world, all businesses in Baltimore inhabit, having valid and tailored insurance in place is a must. This was actually something that your small business should have had to protect it, even before COVID hit. But why is this so important? In simple terms, business insurance gives you cover against any accidents, disasters or compensation claims. As most small businesses in Baltimore only have finite resources, trying to cover a huge compensation claim is not feasible.
The worry of facing a potentially crippling expense like this is even more pressing with COVID around. If someone were to catch it in your shop, for example, they may well blame you and pursue a claim against you. Without insurance in place, this could see you have to pay out a massive amount. Small business insurance by Next Insurance is a popular choice with many companies. This is because their plans are easy to understand, contains the cover you need in one policy and are great value for money.
Follow the state guidelines and rules
As all residents across Maryland will know, the threat of COVID is still prominent. Recent reports show that COVID cases in Maryland have risen again in November 2020. This makes it crucial for all businesses to avoid crippling expenses by following state rules and guidelines for opening.
This will not only avoid huge compensation claims from the public for not doing what you should, but it will also help you avoid big fines from the state. A good example is a current requirement for all bars and restaurants in Maryland to limit indoor capacity to just 50%. It is crucial to stay updated with the latest guidelines and follow them, so your small business is not fined, sued or closed
Think about remote working to reduce expenses
As all small business owners in Baltimore know, the knock on-effect of following state rules is often a reduction in business and the money you make. While this is unavoidable right now, it does leave smaller businesses open to crippling levels of expense, with not enough money coming in to cover them.
A good example of this is the monthly bills you still have to pay to heat your office for the staff or rent space for them to use. To help reduce expenses like this and minimize business losses effectively, why not think about asking staff to work remotely – even if they do not have to under current COVID rules? This can save a lot of money on future costly expenses.
Try to access state or Government help
A good way to protect your small business from any potentially crippling expenses currently is to get financial help from the authorities. This will bring much-needed funds into your enterprise and mean that you have money to use if sky-high expenses do rear their head.
A good example on a federal level is checking out what the Small Business Administration can do for you or the CARES Act. While the Paycheck Protection Scheme is now closed to new applications, things like low-interest loans to smaller organizations are still available. Although you might usually like to cope with expenses on your own, any help you can get is wise at this time.
COVID is set to make its presence felt for a while yet
When you consider that this virus has been around since March 2020 and is still wreaking havoc around the USA, you would have to think it will be with us for a while longer yet. For small businesses in Baltimore, this is not an appealing prospect. In light of this, it is key to think about what you can do to mitigate against any future crippling expenses which might otherwise cause real issues for you.