Small Business Saturday is a day designed to support small businesses and communities. The day has been celebrated across the United States since 2010, and takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving.1 By participating in Small Business Saturday, you can give your business a competitive boost. It also allows the public to show support for the small business that are important for the economic viability in many communities.2

While this year’s event will be different than previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the following guidelines can help your small business maintain safety this holiday season:

Running Your Business

  • Give your customers peace of mind when visiting your business. Require them to wear masks and practice social distancing (at least 6 feet between people).3
  • Consider offering free, disposable masks to customers who don’t bring one.3
  • Let customers know of any changes to your business, including business hours, safety precautions, and changes to your return policies. Post all of this information on your website, social media accounts and in your physical location.
  • Giving customers extra room to shop or dine can help them observe social distancing and feel more at ease. If necessary, reorganize displays or put a limit on the number of customers allowed in at one time.
  • Your business should be cleaned as you normally would, but additional measures to sanitize should also be implemented.
  • Provide sanitizing stations throughout your business for customers and staff.
  • Appointments, special hours for seniors or others at risk, and expanded hours can make customers feel safer. Create a simple sign-up form on your website for appointments, and post any special times on your website and within your business.
  • Contactless payments can keep your employees and customers safe without the need to exchange cash, or touch cards or require for signatures. Check with your point-of-sale vendor for the best set-up for your business.
  • For those customers who prefer online shopping, make sure your website is ready with quick and efficient shopping and order processing. (For more information on online shopping procedures for businesses during the holiday season, please refer to our post.)
  • If possible, using curbside pickup can help customers and staff feel safer. This also avoids the headaches of delayed shipments and increased shopping costs.
  • Give yourself extra time.While things have been getting better for shipping times versus earlier this year, have plans in place for both receiving your shipments and getting the products out to customers.4

 

Keeping Your Employees Safe

  • If any employees are sick, regardless of what type of illness, immediately send them home and do not allow them to return until they’re well. Make your “sick policy” well known before anyone needs it.5
  • Make sure your staff practice proper hand hygiene (frequent hand washing, use of hand sanitizer) and respiratory safety (wearing a mask, turning their heads to cough into their shoulder/elbow, etc.)
  • Perform routine and upgraded cleaning procedures following new protocols for your business.
  • Consider supplying masks to your employees, with either your company logo or with a holiday theme.6
  • For further information, refer to the CDC website.

As business regulations can change frequently during the COVID pandemic, make sure to check your state guidelines regularly.

 

Sources

1, 3, 6. https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/faqs/

  1. https://www.fundera.com/blog/small-business-saturday
  2. https://www.surepayroll.com/resources/blog/preparing-for-small-business-saturday
  3. https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources#section-header-6

 

 

 


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Merchants Insurance Group

Merchants Insurance Group

Merchants Insurance Group sells its products through a network of more than 1,000 independent insurance agents in Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. We sell our products through independent insurance agents because we believe they provide value to policyholders through their broad range of products and their insurance expertise.