“The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream will never die.”

Ted Kennedy

Social distancing, cancellations of major events and the closing of schools and universities across the country – businesses around the world have been turned topsy-turvy as events change by the minute. As team members, family and personal friends are self-quarantining, COVID-19 is already hitting too close to home for comfort. This blog is being written in solidarity with all of you!

While many businesses can continue to operate by leveraging new technologies, businesses that are based on in-person interactions, such as education, entertainment, dining, and hospitality, are clearly in trouble.  Last month, we hosted two networking dinner parties in New York’s Chinatown, in a show of support and solidarity with those establishments, which were hit especially hard in the early stages of the pandemic.  

Now even more business owners and their staff are impacted as theaters, museums and movie theaters have closed. At Stage2Startups, we had to postpone our March event to May and cancel our April event indefinitely. 

And then there is the safety of everyone concerned, from owners to staff to partners to family and friends. If we are young and healthy, might we still be carriers and endanger the ones we love? If we are older, do we stop what we are doing for fear of catching a virus or do we continue and potentially risk the safety of ourselves and others?  

As places of business close due to government mandated shutdowns or lack of business and cost constraints, our thoughts go to the people involved, their employees and their extended families. Our focus is on the people who cannot work from home, including people we know, such as medical workers, police and firemen, as well as everyday store owners, like my sister, who runs a dog boarding business, and my nephew, who runs an ice cream wrap business reliant on tourism. Who do they keep the lights on for, and do they risk the lives of employees or themselves to keep their businesses going?

How will we deal with this crisis? We believe that as an entrepreneur, you will find a way and will discover new opportunities and develop new ideas. 

We have included in our Resource Section, checklists and links from SBA, NYC and the CDC for businesses to use to assess and plan for handling this pandemic and links to low-cost or no-interest loans as well as grants from NYC for extremely small businesses of 5 people or less. Check to see if your local or state government might have similar programs. 

In addition, you need to take care of yourselves financially if you are in startup mode and don’t have prior year sales or are pre-launch. You should contact your credit card companies or vendors to see if they will work out a payment plan. Here is a good checklist from CNBC.

Tell us how you are coping during this crisis and/or if you have additional recommended crisis management resources by emailing us at info@stage2startups.org or commenting on our blog. 

Let’s try to help each other, as best we can and stick together during this time of crisis.

We look forward to hearing from you! 

Copyright© 2020 Emelie Smith Calbick and Betty Wong

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