Navigating Coronavirus for Small Businesses
This page provides business owners with links to information so they may prepare for the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wisconsin and plan accordingly impacts to their business operations. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers up to date information about the spread of the virus, and healthy habits to reduce the risk of infection.
Your business may be affected by coronavirus in four principal ways, including:
- workforce health
- supply chain issues
- travel advisories and restrictions
- changes in consumer demand
The most affected industrial sectors to date include tourism and travel (airlines, cruise ships, and hotels), education, and oil, as demand has decreased. The federal government is looking at various steps to stabilize financial markets, as noted below in several of the cited sources.
While your business may be affected in any of the four areas noted, employee health is a particular concern. The CDC indicates that business owners should take the following steps with regard to employee health.
- Emphasize staying home when sick, and proper respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees
- Perform routine environmental cleaning
- Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce is hosting a free webinar at 11:00am, Tuesday, March 17 on how your business can withstand a global pandemic outbreak. Register here>>
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has created a webpage to share information about businesses impacted by coronavirus, including guidance on unemployment, employment and training, vocational rehabilitation, and equal rights.
Wisconsin’s Work-Share program is available to businesses who experience slowdowns that require a reduction in staff. Wisconsin’s Work-Share program helps Wisconsin businesses keep skilled workers on the job who otherwise would have been laid off, and helps workers remain employed with a reduced impact on wages and employer-sponsored benefits.
Work-Share is designed to help employers retain employees during slow business periods by reducing employees’ hours and allowing affected employees to file for partial Unemployment Insurance benefits (UI) to replace a portion of their reduced pay. Participating workers also keep employer-provided benefits and avoid financial challenges associated with a total loss of employment.
The United States Chamber of Commerce and the United States Small Business Administration have also provided guidance and resources to businesses impacted by the coronavirus.