Worried about the coronavirus and how to keep it from affecting your small business? From a health standpoint, working in a small office may be one of the safest places you can be. There are fewer workers than in large businesses, and you’ll notice anyone who’s getting sick. From a financial standpoint, of course, you want to keep business-as-usual going as much as you can.

Let’s be clear: we don’t know where this coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is going to go and what impact it will have on individuals’ health and the global economy. What is clear is that we all hope that it will end as soon as possible, with as little human and financial cost as possible.

Here’s what you can do right now in your small business:  

1. Find alternatives that work for you.

Many large corporations are allowing employees to work from home, but that may not work for your small business. Consider switching to    phone calls (remember those?) or teleconferences (using services such as Skype) or staying in touch with customers via live streaming (e.g. Facebook Live or Instagram Live). Move desks around to provide more space between work spaces. And step up cleaning and wiping down surfaces frequently with antiseptic.

More:Plan, don’t panic: Strategic small businesses can weather coronavirus outbreak

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 04: A couple shops with surgical masks as fears of the coronavirus spreading through the U.S. increase on March 04, 2020 in New York City. Travel, business, schools and other aspects of American life are beginning to be affected by the virus as new cases emerge.   (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775491894 ORIG FILE ID: 1210393038

2. Travel but take precautions.

If you’re not sick and don’t believe you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, you may need to or want to travel. Perhaps you need to serve customers, land new customers (who might be looking for new domestic suppliers as their overseas supply chain gets disrupted), or just to maintain business relationships. I traveled in the last few days, and there were plenty of people on the plane and in the airport (including San Francisco, one of the more impacted areas). I felt perfectly comfortable, but I took some unusual (for me) precautions, including bringing antiseptic wipes and wiping down the entire area around me in the plane, rental car, and hotel room.



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