The ACOC has compiled a helpful list of coronavirus recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for businesses and workers across the country. We continue to encourage Bahamian businesses to follow guidelines from relevant Government Ministries and to source reliable information from agencies such as the World Health Organization the CDC.
We encourage you to share the below recommendations within your networks, to employees and communication channels including social media, and websites.
ESTABLISH A REMOTE WORK OPTION
Where possible, implement a remote work policy that covers when you expect your team to be online or available, how to communicate. e.g. via email, Zoom, webinars or video calls, etc… and what deliverables each team member is responsible for completing. This is especially important for employees in groups that are at a higher risk of becoming infected with the coronavirus.
REDUCE MEETINGS AND AVOID TRAVEL
Postpone any team meetings or hold them virtually. Skip physically attending 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 will have to manage low morale and sick leave requests. Please firmly discourage your employees from traveling now even for vacation, as their return to work may require isolation or quarantine to avoid the risk exposing others in your company to the disease, as persons may be asymptomatic and still infect others.
GIVE EMPLOYEES FLEXIBILITY
With the country slowly moving toward suspending certain services, you will need to be flexible with your employees’ time. Some team members may have to leave unexpectedly. Try to be as understanding as possible when something comes up and have a contingency plan in case you suddenly become short-staffed.
FOLLOW AND ENCOURAGE GOOD HYGIENE HABITS
Practice good hygiene and stop the spread of the virus by following these health and safety tips from the Ministry of Health.
• No handshakes: Use a non-contact method for greetings.
• Provide adequate supplies of soap and hand sanitizer throughout the business premises
• Employees should wash their hands when they arrive and every time they enter the premises, as well as frequently throughout the day.
• If hand washing is not practical, hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol content should be used.
• 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.
ENCOURAGE SICK EMPLOYEES TO STAY AT HOME
Encourage your employees to stay at home of they feel sick (common symptoms are cough, trouble breathing, sore throat, high fever)
• Call the doctor’s office before visiting to discuss next steps and so that the doctor can prepare the office to receive them
• Contact the COVID-19 hotline numbers to get advice from the health officials:
Tel# 376-9350 - 8:00am – 8:00pm Tel# 376-9387- 8:00pm – 8:00am
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 and manage expectations.
SHIFT YOUR SALES STRATEGY ONLINE
Consider shifting your sales strategy to an online one to avoid heavy losses. If you’re closing your brick and mortar location, find ways to generate sales and keep your employee earning a paycheck by selling via digital channels such as social media, putting your email list to good use or using a video tool to reach new leads.
CONSIDER BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE
Business interruption insurance may be an option for you if you have significant business losses as a result of shutting down from the pandemic. Ask your insurance broker about business interruption insurance to cover unexpected major events and see what qualifies for coverage. It may not cover this emergency, but you’ll be better prepared for the next time your business suffers similar economic losses. PLAN FOR THE LONG TERM
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.
ASK FOR HELP!
CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE TOOLKIT – RECOMMENDATIONS FOR
BUSINESSES AND WORKERS