• Adam Kae & Associates

Checklist for Temporarily Closing Your Business due to COVID-19




In the midst of COVID-19, many businesses are being asked to close their doors across the United States. We understand that this is an extremely stressful time for business owners, so we’ve put together this post to guide you through steps to take to temporarily close your doors. These steps can serve as a check-list to develop your game plan. We know it seems like your to-do list is constantly growing, but a strategy will keep you on track to make sure you take all the necessary steps!


1. Speak with Your Stakeholders


Whether your stakeholders are investors, partners, or otherwise, involve them in the decision. Depending on the nature of your company, your business may be able to remain open with limited operating hours or changes in operation. Be sure to keep an eye on the news as more information arises.


2. Determine How to Tell Your Employees


Establish a plan for what to tell your employees. Are you furloughing them or laying them off? Depending on which you choose, there are different liabilities to consider. Be completely honest about the reality of the situation and the future of the company. They will likely have questions and concerns, so take time to help them. When life goes back to normal, your handling of this situation will dictate your employee responses to coming back. If you can, give them an estimation on when you might reopen. After closing to the public, will you need some employees to stay on and manage the remaining inventory? There are also online government resources that can give financial aid to your employees during this time.


3. Determine Your Closing Date


This date may be mandated rather than your decision, but you may be able to choose a date before the mandate that works better for you. For example, if you receive an inventory shipment every Monday, you may choose to cancel your shipment and remain open until your inventory is nearly gone. Of course, this highly varies from company to company. When the mandate is lifted, can you open the doors the next day or will you need additional time to prepare?


4. Determine How to Tell Your Customers


Similarly to your employees, your customers may have questions and concerns you might be able to alleviate. Are you able to offer them an online order, take-out, or delivery option? While all of these are currently still allowed in many states, take the precautionary measures, as the virus can exist on different surfaces for different amounts of time. This may mean wearing gloves, face masks, and practicing more extreme precautions to ensure ultimate social distancing.


5. Look Over any Licensing and/or Permit Requirements you may Need to Renew


Depending on the length of the close, there may be license or permit renewals you’ll need to arrange upon reopening your business. If anything expires while you’re closed, see if you can renew online or continue operating on a temporary permit.


6. Check Your Insurance Policies


While coverage for COVID-19 specifically may not be covered, you may find a clause about temporary closures. You can also register for Business Interruption Insurance if you need to fully close down operations temporarily. This type of insurance can be standalone or part of your policy as a business owner.


7. Gather All Your Business Records


Now is the time to get your ducks in a row and gather all of your business records. This includes vendor contracts, lease agreements, balance sheets, previous bills, and so on. Review your contracts to see if there are any clauses about the need to close. Also, check on your inventory. If you have perishable options, is there a takeout option you can implement until you run out of inventory? If not, how much will that lost inventory cost you? Once you have everything sorted, distribute your final paychecks to employees and speak with your vendors about putting contracts on hold. Note that taxes are still due soon, so be sure to have those squared away. Adam Kae & Associates has tax preparer recommendations if you need help!


8. Tell Your Customers and Employees


With your employees, a phone call or face-to-face (6 feet apart!) conversation is best. For your customers, post a letter on social media, your website, and your physical location to let them know the situation. You could also leave a way for customers with questions or concerns to contact you. Here’s a letter template if you're not sure what to write:


Dear Valued Customers of (Your Business Name),


During this unprecedented time, your safety and the safety of our employees matter to us. We will be temporarily closing our location for the time being starting on (Date of Closure). We are grateful for your patronage, and we hope to serve you as soon as the pandemic mandate has lifted. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach (Contact Name) at (Phone Number and/or Email). We wish you and your families safety and health, and we will see you soon.


Best,

(Your Business Name)


If your business isn't completely closing but you are limiting hours of operation instead, here's another letter template that might help:


Dear Valued Customers of (Your Business Name),


During this unprecedented time, your safety and the safety of our employees matter to us. We will be limiting hours of operation to (Days and Times) at our storefront location starting on (Date). We are grateful for your patronage, and we are dedicated to continue serving you! If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach (Contact Name) at (Phone Number and/or Email). We wish you and your families safety and health, and we will see you soon.

Best,

(Your Business Name)


Be sure to add any notes if you're offering online ordering or delivery, too!


9. Take Time to Check in with Your Mental Health


Please remember to break and take everything one step at a time. We hope this checklist helped create some structure during this chaotic era. We understand the stress you are under, and we are here to help as best we can. Check in with your support system, help flatten the curve with social distancing, and remember to wash your hands!



Resources

Adam Kae & Associates

Temporary Business Closure

Temporary Business Closure

Furlough vs Layoff

Permanent Business Closure

Insureon Business Interruption Insurance


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Disclaimer: This article contains information and opinions from Adam Kae & Associates, and the information and opinions should not necessarily be seen as the best possible solutions for your business. Please contact us at info@adamkae.com to help you find the best solutions for your business.


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