It’s clear that the coronavirus is taking a heavy toll on small businesses throughout the United States. That said, certain industries are shouldering the burden more than others.
Part of the reason that businesses are suffering is the natural sense of uncertainty that’s in the air, while another part is the near-daily announcements of new federal regulations, restrictions, and financial aid being put into effect to counteract the spread of the coronavirus.
Given the different amount of close social contact that takes place in different industries, certain sectors are seeing stricter restrictions than others. Below, we’ve gathered information specifying new coronavirus restrictions per industry, and what small businesses can do to clear these hurdles and keep running.
How coronavirus restrictions can impact business loan eligibility
Given the current circumstances, some lenders are also beginning to be more cautious about providing funding for small businesses. This isn’t to say that business owners won’t be able to get a loan – quite the contrary. Lenders are still helping to provide SBA loans (read about coronavirus SBA loans), lines of credit, unsecured loans, and more.This is the time to be creative, be innovative, and be flexible with the ways you intend on strengthening your #business against what may still come. Click To Tweet
What it does mean is that some lenders may tighten their qualifications, particularly with regards to a business’s revenue (something that many businesses have seen drop these past couple of weeks). They may also be keener on seeing your business’s month-to-date transactions in order to get an even clearer idea of how your business has been withstanding this emergency situation.
Hope is still out there for small business owners though! Now is not the time to give up – times are hard, but we’ll all get through this together. This is the time to be creative, be innovative, and be flexible with the ways you intend on strengthening your business against what may still come.
Rest assured that Become will be here to help you, both during the coronavirus outbreak and after it has passed. One of the most important things to do now is stay in-the-know.
We encourage you to keep yourself informed on industry restrictions resulting from coronavirus, below.
Where else can I check for business financial aid?
Become has partnered with several SBA loan providers that work hand-in-hand with the government. If your industry has currently been labeled as “higher risk” by lenders (due to the coronavirus outbreak), don’t panic. Check if you qualify for SBA Disaster Loans. Click below:
Coronavirus restaurant restrictions
At this time, the types of restrictions that restaurants are facing in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak depends on the state they’re in. More than 20 states have either imposed strict restrictions or have ordered a complete shutdown of their restaurant and bars, resulting in devastating consequences for thousands of small-and-medium-sized businesses.
Those states include California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, and Washington D.C. It’s fully possible that, in a short time, these restrictions may apply across the entire country.
- Reductions in the number of customers allowed to dine-in
- Allowing takeout, window-pickup, and delivery only
- Complete closures of restaurants and bars statewide
What restaurants can do to survive coronavirus
In truth, there is no simple fix. These are unprecedented and volatile times for business operators in the restaurant industry. But there are a few ways that could help to mitigate the financial damage in the short term.
For example, converting your business model from eat-in to takeaway and delivery could ease the financial strain. Serving staff could be reassigned as delivery workers, allowing you to retain your employees and provide them with salaried work.
Although this may not adequately compensate for lost revenue, it could keep a business afloat during the shutdown, at least for a certain period of time.
Coronavirus hotel, tourism, & travel restrictions
While a hotel might sound like a nice place to avoid the stresses brought on by coronavirus, the tourism, travel, and hospitality industries are all taking a pounding as a result of recent CDC restrictions on travel.
Hotel occupancy rates have dropped by nearly 25% compared to this time last year, along with average daily rate (down nearly 11%) and revenue per available room (down 32.5%). Some speculations have been made that this could even lead to half of all U.S. hotels shutting down during this coronavirus pandemic.
- Hotel reservations are taking a steep plunge since the CDC announced that foreign nationals who have been in China, Iran, the UK, Ireland and any one of 26 European countries within the past 14 days cannot enter the United States
- Flight bookings have fallen precipitously, estimated to take a $200-$300 million hit on Southwest Airlines alone
- International tourist visits to the U.S. are predicted to drop 10% over the next year
- Cruise industry leaders have proposed a ban on all travelers over 70 years of age
What hotels and travel businesses can do to survive coronavirus
The knee-jerk reaction for some hoteliers and travel agencies might be to make big cuts to the rates on future reservations. That tactic may not be the best route to take though, as it can actually end up extending the amount of time it takes for those businesses to fully recover from the effects of this coronavirus pandemic (or even make recovery outright impossible).
While reassessing the pricing strategy is one way to go, another way is for hotels and travel agents to provide easy and helpful cancellation experiences for the clients that are currently asking for refunds. With so many frustrations surrounding this pandemic, customers are going to remember who made things easier and who made things worse. That’s why it’s important to offer flexibility cancellation policies wherever and however possible.
Coronavirus retail restrictions
While the Center for Disease Control did not issue any official restrictions on the retail industry, there have been several recommendations made for people to avoid gathering in large numbers.
In some states that number is no more than 10 people, in other states it’s 50, and still in others it’s 250. While the message has differed by location, retailers nationwide have taken the hint.
- Macy’s, Nordstrom, Victoria’s Secret, Urban Outfitters, and many, many other retailers have closed all stores around the world
- Walmart, J.C. Penney, and Kohl’s are just a very small sample of the stores choosing to limit their hours of operation
What retailers can do to survive coronavirus
The coronavirus survival strategies for retailers are somewhat limited. The most obvious solution, and the one that many retailers have already put into action, is to go digital. Incorporating ecommerce trends is really the only way to maintain retail sales while current government restrictions are keeping brick and mortar stores closed (see more about brick and mortar vs online retail).
Once an online store is established, you can begin thinking about more creative ways to encourage sales. That could mean offering free shipping, referral discounts, and exclusive offers available only upon registration (which could come at some small fee). Another tactic could be to begin distributing products that are in high demand because of coronavirus; a step beyond that would be to make custom coronavirus apparel (i.e. face masks).
Creativity is key.
Coronavirus gym restrictions
As more and more states impose restrictions on how many individuals are permitted to be in a single establishment at a single time, gyms and fitness facilities across the country are shutting their doors.
- Social distancing is forcing fitness center chains to close from coast-to-coast, including LA Fitness, Gold’s Gym, and SoulCycle just to name a few
What gyms can do to survive coronavirus
First off, gyms and fitness centers are focused on health. That being the case, they should be promoting useful information for members to reduce their risk of coming into contact with coronavirus. As good of a start as it is, gym members can get that info elsewhere.
One of the best ways for gyms and fitness centers to remain relevant and helpful during this time is to begin offering their members free online workout courses. That will not only help members stay in-shape while in quarantine, but show them that your business is dedicated to their well-being.
Other coronavirus industry restrictions
Coronavirus shipping restrictions
The restrictions on the shipping industry vary depending on the country and the state in question, but here are some general updates on how coronavirus has impacted the maritime shipping industry.
- Federal mandates require ships to report any symptomatic crew members; failure to report can lead to a fine of up to $94,000
- Any vessels carrying passengers who have been to China in the past 14 days will not be allowed to enter the United States
Coronavirus cinema restrictions
State and local governments are starting to put curfews into effect, as well as limits on the numbers of people permitted to gather, and recommendations to keep certain distances from other individuals. These guidelines are hurting the film and cinema industry…
- In North America, movie theater ticket sales bottomed out the lowest levels in over 20 years
Coronavirus agricultural restrictions
With travel restrictions taking hold over Australia during this coronavirus outbreak, the number of seasonal workers is expected to see a big drop.
- Australian fruit and vegetable harvests may go to waste if government mandates stop foreign workers from entering the country
Financial aid for industries hurt by coronavirus
Regardless of which industry you’re in, there are a variety of new financial aid programs and privately-sponsored initiatives being established to help businesses facing financial difficulties during coronavirus. Some solutions are available for specific industries, others are available for specific states, and others don’t necessarily offer direct financing but, rather, a creative way to bring in more revenue.
Whether it’s a loan, grant, or fundraiser, you should be looking for any available boost for your business’s cash flow. There’s no telling just how severe or long-lasting the effects of the coronavirus outbreak will be for small businesses.
Now is the time to think outside the box.
A word of hope
It is important now, more than ever, to think outside the box with your business. Become agile, and remain informed of the current news and opportunities that surriond you.
Become will be here to inform you of all the news and business-related opportunities that arise, along with tips to get through this challanging period. Corona will not last forver, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and when we reach that light, it will be time to rebuild and propel forward.
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Remember, now is a time to find hidden opportunities. Use this time to plan ahead and find creative ways to keep your business up and running.