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Written By NaviPay Blog Contributor:
Suzanne Davis
Coastal Business Evolution, LLC

Most of Florida is firmly into Phase One of reopening with the exceptions of Palm Beach, Broward and Dade Counties and it looks like Palm Beach may be there next. Most of us have adhered to the stay at home order either reluctantly or through embracing what for some is much needed down time! We all want to “return to normal”, but we recognize normal probably isn’t going to look like what we are used for quite a bit…

Even with all of this in mind, isn’t it great for businesses like restaurants to reopen if even at 25% capacity? Maybe not. Restaurants and retail stores themselves feel they have no clear guidelines and are citing opening at 25% might not be financially feasible in the long run.

The Washington Post in conjunction with the University of Maryland released the results of a survey on Tuesday. It seems that more than half of the population are totally cool with going to a grocery store. Shopping in other retail establishments, not so much, 67% said patronizing a retail establishment is a solid no go for them. According to the survey, a whopping 78% would be uncomfortable dining in a restaurant now. Businesses that have been allowed to open at 25% capacity have some solid concerns:

  • Being allowed to open now means that you will lose out on most if not all of your loss of use insurance if you carry it.
  • Opening at 25% capacity will on its own will not generate enough revenue to pay the rent, keep the lights on etc.-so at this capacity, they are still losing money.
  • Staffing issues-huge concerns here. If you call your employees back, should the business not pick up and you have to let them go, the cost of their unemployment is on your dime.
  • As for your employees, per the Families First bill, should they or a family member get Coronavirus, you as the employer must pay sick leave for at least two weeks.
  • If an employee is diagnosed with the virus, you may need to close for additional sanitation. Will they be comfortable coming back?
  • Masks, gloves, additional sanitation equals additional operating expenses.

Bottom line: Phase one doesn’t feel pro small business or pro public health. Either way, it is here and how do you cope? As a consumer, if you have been supporting local restaurants through take out or delivery, please continue to do so, they need the support and revenue.

If you are a restaurant or retail owner what can you do? Ideally you would want to make sure that you turn your inventory as quickly as possible, but also combine that with amazing curbside, takeout or delivery deals so the world knows you’re open for THEM! This is where social media and other advertising avenues will increase their relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. Obviously, be efficient with your staffing. Be sure that your staff is comfortable with their safety and have patrons adhere to social distancing.

As a consumer, realize that this is STILL a tough time for small businesses, patronize them as much as you can. As for restaurants, continue to get take out! Let’s make the best of this!

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