Resources for Business
Utah Leads Together Small Business Bridge Loan
The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development is offering a bridge loan to Utah-based small businesses with 50 or fewer employees impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.Learn More
Utah Economic Response Task Force
The Utah Economic Response Task Force has created a Rapid Response Team to ensure Utah businesses and individuals understand and utilize federal programs designed to help businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. If you have questions regarding the SBA Paycheck Protection Program, the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, or other programs on this page, please send an inquiry to the Utah Economic Task Force Rapid Response Team.Submit Help Request
Utah COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force
Click here to view a PDF containing frequently asked questions and answers provided by the Economic Response Task Force.
This webpage, which is updated daily, includes content curated by the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development. We invite you to submit a resource to be included on this page, provide feedback, or ask any questions using this form.
Helping Utah Businesses in a Time of Need
At the request of Gov. Herbert, Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, is chairing the economic response subcommittee of the Utah Coronavirus Task Force.
Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development Executive Director, Val Hale, is chair of the Task Force subcommittee focused on federal, state and local resources available to Utah’s business community.
This webpage is a curated source of coordinated information, resources and best practices for Utah’s business community. It includes links to, and resources from, many Utah government and nonprofit organizations.
This webpage is a one-stop-shop resource for all Utah corporations, small businesses and entrepreneurs struggling economically because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Along with keeping Utahns healthy, the economic impact of the coronavirus is a primary concern for state leaders, especially the impact on Utah’s small businesses and entrepreneurs.
State Directives and Orders
Utah Leads Together: A Plan for a Health and Economic Recovery
On March 24, 2020, Gov. Herbert released “Utah Leads Together,” a comprehensive task force plan to mitigate the economic consequences of COVID-19. The plan aims to eventually return Utah to the record-setting economic growth it enjoyed before the pandemic. The report and economic playbook include recommendations from dozens of Utah state and industry leaders. If you have questions or comments about this plan, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We recognize the challenges before us. We also see Utah’s potential. Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic can become another example of how Utahns come together to build a better and stronger state for the future.
Federal Programs and Resources
The President signed the CARES Act, a $2 trillion aid program to provide emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families and businesses affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Click here to learn how the CARES Act will benefit you.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
Paycheck Protection Program
- What is it? The Paycheck Protection Program is a cornerstone of aid offered to provide small business loans on favorable terms to borrowers impacted by the current state of economic uncertainty. Specifically, the program is designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed. The new loan program will be available retroactive from February 15, 2020, so employers can rehire their recently laid-off employees through June 30, 2020.
- Who is eligible? All small businesses, including non-profits, Veterans organizations, Tribal concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors, with 500 or fewer employees, or no greater than the number of employees set by the SBA as the size standard for certain industries.
- More details: SBA.gov/Coronavirus
- Maximum loan amount up to $10 million
- Loan forgiveness if proceeds used for payroll costs and other designated business operating expenses in the 8 weeks following the date of loan origination (due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs)
- All loans under this program will have the following identical features:
- Interest rate of 0.5%
- Maturity of 2 years
- First payment deferred for six months
- 100% guarantee by SBA
- No collateral
- No personal guarantees
- No borrower or lender fees payable to SBA
- Utah banks: The Utah banks listed here are authorized to assist small businesses with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Economic Injury Disaster Loan
- What is it? The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. You apply through the SBA.
- Who is eligible? Small business owners (≤500 FTEs) in all U.S. states and territories are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to COVID-19.
- More details: SBA.gov/Disaster
- There’s no immediate deadline to apply.
- There’s no fee to apply.
- No credit card information is required.
- Contact: Utahgeneral@sba.gov or 801-524-3209 for specific questions.
- Streamlined Process: Access the new EIDL website here: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/
Here’s a guide and checklist from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help your small business through the process and view this interactive map to show the aid available to small businesses on a state-by-state basis.
- A top-line overview of the program can be found here.
- If you’re a lender, more information can be found here.
- If you’re a borrower, more information can be found here.
The application for borrowers can be found here.
U.S. Department of Labor
On March 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor issued its first round of guidance on how to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) effective April 1, 2020.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
- What is it? The FFCRA requires small employers to provide Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Paid Family Leave, requires employer-sponsored group health plans to cover COVID-19 testing, and boosts state unemployment funds.
- Who is eligible? Applicable to employers and employees.
- More details: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions.
U.S. Department of Treasury
- What is it? On March 13, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service announced the new deadline for personal and business Federal Tax filings would be July 15, 2020.
- Who is eligible? Those filing personal and business Federal tax filings.
- More details: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/filing-and-payment-deadlines-questions-and-answers
Federal Reserve (Available soon)
- What is it? On March 23, 2020, the Federal Reserve announced extensive new measures to support the economy including the Main Street Business Lending Program.
- Who is eligible? This program will support lending to eligible small-and-medium sized businesses, complementing efforts by the SBA.
- More details: https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/monetary20200323b.htm
U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA)
Revolving Loan Fund (RFL) Grant
- What is it? The EDA encourages counties, districts, state agencies and others unable to maintain a pre-COVID-19 economy to apply for a RFL Grant.
- Who is eligible? Utah currently has six EDA Revolving Loan Fund Grantees. If your business is located in any of the counties or cities listed below, please reach out to the corresponding contact to see if you qualify.
- More details: For general questions please reach out to email@example.com.
Utah’s EDA Revolving Loan Fund Grantees:
- Five County Association of Governments: Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane, and Washington: http://www.fivecounty.utah.gov/
- City of Orem: https://orem.org/economic-development-covid-19/
- Six County Association of Governments: Millard, San Pete, Sevier, Juab, Piute, and Wayne: http://sixcounty.com/edd-board-economic-development-district-board/revolving-loan-fund-rlf/
- Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments: Carbon, Emery, Grand, and San Juan: http://seualg.utah.gov/index.php/administration/#RLF
- Uintah Basin Economic Development District: Duchesne, Uintah, and Daggett: http://www.vernalutah.org/Contact
- Mountain West Small Business Finance: Salt Lake City: https://mwsbf.com/
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- What it is? FEMA has issued guidance for businesses that are able to provide medical supplies or equipment to the coronavirus response efforts. Information is also also available for businesses that are able to start producing a product related to the COVID-19 response.
- Who is eligible?
- To sell medical supplies or equipment to the federal government, please submit a price quote under the COVID-19 PPE and Medical Supplies Request for Quotation. Full details can be found in the solicitation (Notice ID 70FA2020R00000011).
- This solicitation requires registration with the System for Award Management (SAM) in order to be considered for award, pursuant to applicable regulations and guidelines. Registration information can be found at www.sam.gov. Registration must be “ACTIVE” at the time of award.
- If you have medical supplies or equipment to donate, please provide us detailson what you are offering.
- If you have a private company that wants to produce a product related to the COVID response please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you are a hospital or healthcare provider in need of medical supplies, please contact your state, local, tribal or territory department of public health and/or emergency management agency.
- If you are interested in doing business with FEMA and supporting the response to COVID- 19 with your company’s non-medical goods and/or services, please submit your inquiry to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Procurement Action Innovative Response Team (PAIR) team at DHSIndustryLiaison@hq.dhs.gov.
- More details: https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus/how-to-help.
- Information from FDA about how to designate a medical product as an Emergency Use. This information is relevant for importing products.
- US Customs and Border Protection – importing: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is providing an update to CSMS message 42124872 for instructions to the import community regarding the submission of entry information for personal protective equipment and certain other devices. Following the instructions below will help facilitate the import process for all; especially for products related to the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency. It is in the best interest of the U.S. to facilitate and expedite the importation of products into the U.S. market that address immediate, urgent public health needs.
- Non-FDA-regulated general purpose personal protective equipment (masks, respirators, gloves, etc.)
- Personal protective equipment for general purpose or industrial use (that is, products that are not intended for use to prevent disease or illness) is not regulated by FDA.
- For these types of products, entry information should not be transmitted to FDA. At the time of entry for these products, Importers should transmit entry information to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) using an appropriate HTS code with no FD Flag; or using an appropriate HTS code with an FD1 flag and do a ‘disclaim’ for FDA.
- Products authorized for emergency use pursuant to an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)
- When importing such products, entry information should be submitted to FDA; however reduced FDA information is required for review.
- At the time of entry, Importers should transmit an Intended Use Code of 940.000: Compassionate Use/Emergency Use Device, and an appropriate FDA product code. Under this Intended Use Code, the Affirmations of Compliance for medical devices (such as the Registration, Listing, and Premarket numbers) are optional in ACE.
- Below is a list of products and the appropriate product codes that are currently authorized by an EUA:
- Diagnostic tests: 83QKP, 83QKO, 83QJR
- Masks/Respirators: 80NZJ
Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM)
On March 12, 2020, EXIM underscored its strong support for new initiatives to inject liquidity into the market and give maximum financing flexibility to facilitate sales of U.S. goods and services abroad during the COVID-19 crisis. Please see below a list of opportunities available to small businesses with additional flexibilities. If you have any questions, please reach out to Paul.Duncan@exim.gov.
Bridge Financing Program
- What is it? International customers need several billion dollars in temporary, short-term bridge financing to enable them to acquire U.S. goods and services. The Bridge Financing Program will enable exporters to go forward through short-term (e.g., one year) financing of these U.S. exports until private sector liquidity returns.
- Who is eligible? Foreign buyers of capital equipment that need longer term repayment terms.
- More details: https://www.exim.gov/coronavirus-response/fact-sheet-exim-establishes-bridge-financing-program
Pre-Delivery / Pre-Export Financing Program
- What is it? American manufacturers of large-scale items (aircraft, satellites, etc.) often rely on partial, advance payments, or “progress delivery payments,” during production. However, their international customers may be unable to finance pre-export payments due to temporary liquidity problems caused by the COVID-19 crisis, problems that ultimately threaten U.S. workers and suppliers. To help meet this challenge EXIM will temporarily expand its Pre-Export Payment Policy for a one-year term for transactions in which EXIM is not providing the long-term financing (such as turbines, locomotives and aircraft) to the buyer and to manufacturing sectors whose international buyers have traditionally not participated but may be interested now due to a lack of commercial financing.
- Who is eligible? US entities with Medium- or Long-Term payment terms with international buyers under contract.
- More details: https://www.exim.gov/coronavirus-response/fact-sheet-exim-temporarily-expands-pre-export-payment-program
Supply Chain Financing Guarantee Program
- What is it? EXIM’s existing Supply Chain Financing Guarantee Program enables suppliers to sell their accounts receivable to a lender to obtain early payment of invoices at a discounted rate, while EXIM guarantees the lender’s purchase of the accounts receivable. This helps suppliers obtain cash quickly (often at lower rates that reflect the credit of the buyer) and increase liquidity to fulfill new orders. However, the availability of existing commercial options combined with certain program features suppresses demand for the offering. In light of expected liquidity constraints in exporter supply chains, EXIM will expand the program by relaxing its criteria and increasing its guarantee level.
- Who is eligible? Exporters of USA Goods (and their foreign affiliates).
- More details: https://www.exim.gov/coronavirus-response/fact-sheet-background-on-supply-chain-financing-guarantee-program
Working Capital Guarantee Program
- What is it? EXIM’s Working Capital Guarantee Program facilitates loans from commercial lenders, typically through Designated Authority (DA) lenders, to creditworthy U.S. businesses that export over the term of the loan. Recently many DA lenders expressed to EXIM the need for greater working capital financing support given the significant and growing liquidity pressure on suppliers and exporters. In response, EXIM will temporarily modify the program to make it more flexible. Specifically, the agency will expand program eligibility to cover all inventory that could potentially be exported, reduce the program’s fee structure, and temporarily increase the guarantee level.
- Who is eligible? Exporters (both direct AND indirect) of USA Goods and services.
- More details: https://www.exim.gov/coronavirus-response/fact-sheet-background-on-working-capital-guarantee-program
U.S. Commercial Service
- What is it? Connect to the global network of experienced trade specialists working virtually via email, conference call, Skype, or video conference to discuss your international business plans.
- Who is eligible? Businesses, individuals, and organizations interested in expanding internationally.
- More details: Contact Shelby.Daiek@trade.gov for additional details.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
- What is it? The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development has taken immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses, and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak — including its rural utilities, rural housing, and rural business-cooperative services.
- Who is eligible? Rural communities
- More details: https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- What is it? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance for businesses and employers on how to plan, prepare, and respond to the coronavirus-this includes cleaning and disinfecting recommendations and employee best practices.
- Who is eligible? Schools, Workplaces & Community Locations
- More details: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html
World Trade Center (WTC) Utah
Federal STEP Grants to Support International Trade
- What is it? Now more than ever we encourage businesses to take advantage of WTC Utah administered grants that provide financial support to businesses that are engaging internationally. WTC Utah also provides free consultations, international business and investment matchmaking, webinars, and other programs to find solutions to the problems businesses are facing.
- Who is eligible? All businesses engaging in international trade and investment or those that are interested in doing so.
- More details: https://wtcutah.com/international-solutions-covid19/
Special thanks to Senator Lee and Senator Romney for providing resources and information.
Learn about broadband in Utah and what internet service providers are doing during the coronavirus pandemic.
Salt Lake City Emergency Loan Program for Businesses
The Emergency Loan Program is a stop-gap funding source as more robust federal programs come online. Speed is key to deploying these local funds to make a real impact.
Businesses are encouraged to apply for funding to help make payroll, pay bills and to maintain operations.
Salt Lake City is accepting applications until midnight on April 2, 2020.
Loan Program Guidelines:
- Business must be within Salt Lake City limits
- Maximum loan amount: $20,000
- Interest: 0%
- Terms: 5 years
- Loans can only be used for working capital ( i.e., payroll, rent, etc.,), marketing, or inventory
- Repayment will be deferred for approximately 90 days following the expiration of the Mayor’s “Proclamation Declaring a Local Emergency”
Applying for this loan will NOT disqualify you for additional funds from the SBA Disaster Loan
Utah Apartment Association
The Utah Apartment Association announced its plan to help renters cope with the economic impacts of COVID-19. Renters who demonstrate their financial status has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can qualify for rent deferment. When renters qualify, landlords and management companies will provide a plan to defer a portion, or potentially all, of April’s rent payment, to be paid at a later date. Visit uaahq.org to learn more.
Utah Education and Telehealth Network
The Utah Education and Telehealth Network is updating resources for statewide connectivity and learning to support students and parents during the coronavirus pandemic. View UEN’s resources here.
Workers’ Compensation Fund
WCF Insurance provides COVID-19 guidance here.
Utah Government Agencies
Salt Lake County
On March 13, 2020, Salt Lake County closed various facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19. On March 16, the county declared a public health emergency, effectively limiting some business operations. Learn more here.
Utah Department of Workforce Services
The Department of Workforce Services is closely monitoring the coronavirus pandemic and providing services to Utah workers. It maintains a webpage of COVID-19 resources, including unemployment insurance, child care, food and energy assistance, here.
Rapid Response services can help reduce unemployment insurance costs and minimize disruption if you have to lay-off staff because of COVID-19. Learn more from Utah’s Department of Workforce Services here.
Executive Order Regarding Rent and Evictions
On April 1, 2020, Gov. Herbert signed an executive order, “suspending certain statutes governing eviction proceedings.” This order protects residential tenants most impacted by COVID-19 against eviction through May 15, 2020. DWS and the Economic Response Task Force provide instructions for landlords, tenants, and conditions of eligibility for eviction protection in this PDF.
Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development
Following Gov. Herbert’s leadership, the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development has marshalled its resources to help in all aspects of economic impact resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. The agency maintains the state’s Resources for Business on coronavirus.utah.gov and has a COVID-19 devoted webpage on its site.
On March 30, 2020, GOED announced the Utah Leads Together Small Business Bridge Loan Program for Utah-based small businesses with 50 or fewer employees impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Available bridge loan amounts range from $5,000 to $20,000 with 0% interest for up to a 60-month period. Loans are for businesses, not nonprofits, and cannot exceed three months of demonstrated operating expenses. Loan payments are deferred for 12 months. The bridge loan may be combined with all other types of assistance programs. Learn more here.
Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) Grants
The Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) grant is administered by the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development. BEAR funds are used for economic development projects within Utah counties, which typically include projects such as area sector business analysis, economic development planning, implementation of planning outcomes, training, and other projects enhancing rural economies.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GOED has invited BEAR grant recipients to repurpose funds for impacted local businesses. At the county’s discretion, BEAR grant funds may now be used for utilities, rent, payroll, payroll taxes, or employee health benefits. Contact the GOED Business Services team to learn more: email@example.com.
Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation
An initiative of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation maintains a list of activities and resources available to help Utahns make good, safe use of the great outdoors during this difficult time. The outdoor recreation resources are listed here.
A Utah Silicon Slopes tech company, Domo, created an interactive, embeddable COVID-19 visualization resource. Check it out here.
Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute
The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute provides economic expertise to help navigate the effects of COVID-19. Check out their coronavirus webpage here.
Northern Utah Economic Response Team
The purpose of the Response Team is to provide local, hands-on resources for individuals and companies in Northern Utah being impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. Learn more here.
Ogden City’s Emergency Loan Fund
Salt Lake City Economic Development
The Salt Lake City office of economic development maintains a list of business resources for COVID-19 here.
St. George Area Chamber of Commerce
The St. George Area Chamber of Commerce Greater Together Small Business Resilience Fund is available to small businesses and nonprofits in Washington County. Learn more here.
Utah Organization Responses
As of March 22, 2020, 20 businesses and organizations in Utah submitted information to the Salt Lake Chamber’s request to understand how others are responding to COVID-19. Most of these organizations have specific plans in place, and, in some instances, promotions, to help during the pandemic. Here, we link to available online resources for responding organizations. If you’d like your organization to be included, please provide your information here.
EDCUtah works with state and local government and private industry to attract and grow competitive, high-value companies and spur the expansion of local Utah businesses.
As a resource to local economic developers in Utah, EDCUtah has launched an Economic Recovery Resources for Utah Communities webpage. The resource will help others learn about what’s being done to rise to COVID-19’s economic challenges. Please consider this a bulletin board for sharing best practices and lessons learned with Utah colleagues. We encourage your participation.
International Economic Development Council
RestoreYourEconomy is a resource for up-to-date information related to COVID-19 and its economic impacts. The site is managed by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) with generous support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and IEDC’s Economic Development Research Partners program.
National Association of Counties
The National Association of Counties’ COVID-19 resource webpage is here.
National Association of Regional Councils
The National Association of Regional Councils has published an extensive list of COVID-19 resources for regions across the U.S.
Salt Lake Chamber
The Salt Lake Chamber has a statewide reach and works on the cutting edge of business advocacy in Utah. The nonprofit Chamber is a key partner, lending its President and CEO, Derek Miller, to chair Gov. Herbert’s Utah Coronavirus Task Force Economic Response Subcommittee.
Visit Salt Lake
Visit Salt Lake is Salt Lake City’s meeting and convention organization. They’re publishing COVID-19 updates here.
World Trade Center Utah
World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) provides international business solutions to fight COVID-19 headwinds. The organization shares office space with GOED and is the state’s leading organization focused on advancing Utah’s global business reach and bringing foreign investment to the state. WTC Utah is actively providing grant funding, international matchmaking, webinars and international resources for Utah businesses engaged in the global marketplace. Webinars include training on force majeure and contracts, the view from China during COVID-19, recent changes to employment laws, and how to receive Federal resources and planning. Learn more here.
COVID-19 Prevention in the Workplace
The highest priority of any business is to protect the health, safety, and life of employees and clients. Every decision emanates from that single objective, including guidelines employees have within their places of business, the flexibility and encouragement they are given to attend to their own health needs — as well as those of their families — and a supportive workplace environment that has considered and prepared for disruptions in services, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and supply chains.
While many, if not most, businesses may never experience an incident of coronavirus on their premises, almost all will feel the effects of the illness through disruptions in the stock market, a break in the supply chain, or legitimate concerns among employees. Businesses should also be aware of potential shortages for pharmaceutical supplies, health care supplies, and other resources that may be required for needs unrelated to coronavirus or may leave a company unprepared for subsequent emergencies. These are best addressed by advance planning, considering the resources and best practices that encourage healthy engagement and behaviors within the business environment, at the employee’s home, and support throughout the community.
Best practices encouraged by business and health care experts separate into two categories, those who are not feeling well or suspect they have the coronavirus, and those who are feeling well and need to take precautions.
Those who believe they may have been exposed to coronavirus or who are not feeling well should:
- Be actively encouraged to remain at home except to receive health care.
- Stay separate and apart from individuals and animals within the home.
- Call the doctor before visiting to describe symptoms and receive instructions.
- Wear a facemask in public and among household companions.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Clean hands and wash often with soap and water for 20 seconds or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Avoid sharing household items.
- Clean all “high touch” surfaces every day.
- Have clothing and bedding washed as frequently as possible.
- Monitor symptoms and inform healthcare professionals, particularly if they worsen.
- Confirm illness and contagion have passed before returning to work or public engagement.
- CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).
Those who are feeling well and have no reason to believe they have been exposed to coronavirus should proceed as they would during any cold and flu season:
- Perform hand hygiene frequently.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Try to remain in open spaces with good airflow.
- Maintain a healthy diet and exercise.
- Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, and clothing items with workmates.
- Clean all “high-touch” surfaces, such as counters, desk- and tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, and tablets, every day.
- Sanitize workspaces and public transportation areas like handles and stabilizing bars in subway cars, as well as arm rests and tray tables in buses, trains, and airplanes.
- Wash clothing regularly.
- Maintain a comfortable distance in conversations and in tight working environments, such as where two or more are gathered around a computer.
- Consider replacing a handshake with a fist bump or friendly salute.
For additional information, please see Interim Guidance for Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Around the office:
- Place posters that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.
- Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
- Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol, or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
- Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
- Visit the coughing and sneezing etiquette and clean hands web page for more information.
- Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
For more general workplace health and safety information, view the U.S. Chamber’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Workplace Tips for Employees. You can also download an infographic about social distancing.
Preparing Your Business
As Utah does everything possible to limit the spread of COVID-19, the best remedy against serious outbreak is prevention. Businesses, no matter their size, can significantly influence their community’s readiness, awareness, resources, and engagement against the spread of COVID-19. This begins with organizational preparedness, including risk management teams and contingency plans.
The CDC encourages all employers to implement strategies to protect their workforce. During a coronavirus outbreak, all sick employees should stay home and away from the workplace, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene should be encouraged, and high-touch surfaces should be cleaned regularly.
Outbreak Response Plan
Employers should prepare an Outbreak Response Plan using the following process:
- Ensure the plan is flexible and involves employees in development and review.
- Conduct a focused discussion or exercise using the plan, to find out ahead of time whether the plan has gaps or problems that need to be corrected.
- Share the plan with employees and explain what human resources policies, workplace and leave flexibilities, and pay and benefits will be available.
- Share best practices with other businesses in the community (especially those within the supply chain), chambers of commerce, and associations to improve community response efforts.
Nitin Nohria, dean of the Harvard Business School, said recently in the Harvard Business Review that a plan should be complemented by a company’s “ability to rapidly evaluate ongoing changes in the environment and develop responses based on simple principles.” The companies best capable of that evolution have:
- Engaged and informed networks rather than hierarchical command and control.
- Distributed leadership rather than centralized bureaucracy.
- A less interdependent business structure among operating groups.
- A dispersed workforce.
- Cross-trained generalists rather than a few specialists.
- Simple and flexible rules rather than procedure driven policies.
Resilience in a Box
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, UPS Foundation, World Economic Forum (WEF) and Disaster Resistant Business (DRB) Toolkit Workgroup have developed a “Resilience in a Box” program based on best practices and designed to educate newcomers on business resilience. The program guides companies toward addressing preparedness issues while building in flexibility to handle potential business interruptions.
Corporate Policy Recommendations
The United States Department of Health and Human Services, along with the Centers For Disease Control, recommends companies:
- Ensure sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and employees are aware of these policies.
- Speak with vendors that provide contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.
- Do not require a health care provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or return to work, as medical providers are extremely busy and likely unable to provide such documentation in a timely way.
- Maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
For more information, view the U.S. Chamber’s Guidance for Employers to Plan and Respond to the Coronavirus (Covid-19).
Should an Emergency Remote Work Plan become necessary due to infection among employees, family members, or the community at large, Cali Williams Yost, CEO and founder of Flex+Strategy Group/Work+Life Fit recommends the following:
- Acknowledge the possibility that all or part of your workforce may need to work remotely.
- Map out jobs and tasks that could be affected.
- Audit available IT hardware and software, and close any gaps in access and adoption.
- Set up a communications protocol in advance.
- Identify ways to measure performance that could inform broader change.
Detailed information concerning these recommendations are included in “What’s Your Company’s Emergency Remote-Work Plan?” Harvard Business Review, February 28, 2020.
Employees With Affected Family Members
Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with coronavirus should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure. If an employee is confirmed to have coronavirus, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).