Following the state-wide lockdown caused by COVID-19, owners of small businesses have been faced with a multitude of problems: avoiding layoffs, paying the rent, negotiating with landlords, and trying to maintain service to their customers. It's an overwhelming, morale-crushing situation that most owners have never encountered. Luckily there are local organizations who are in the corner of small businesses and have put together some extremely informative and helpful lists of resources that can arm retailers and restauranteurs with the information they need to weather this crisis. Here are just a few!
PDX SOS: This group of small retailers have banded together to offer each other support and resources, and act as a representative for local businesses in discussions with city and state leaders. They also share best practices for protecting employees and customers from the virus, as well as offering a gift card program in which customers can support their favorite businesses while they get back up on their feet.
GREATER PORTLAND INC: This site provides a very impressive COVID-19 resource list for the entire metro region and beyond, especially for those who might be intimidated by the process. It walks owners through such necessary topics as small business advocacy, how to apply for loans and grants, the latest updates on state and city-wide orders, info on layoffs and unemployment, survival tips, and free and discounted services. It even provides a way to file a complaint if your business has been affected by coronavirus-inspired racism.
VENTURE PORTLAND: This resource guide (geared toward neighborhood businesses) also provides lots of necessary info, such as district resiliency grants, a gift card directory, lists of restaurants/businesses that are open, details on how to get loans and grants (such as the Paycheck Protection Program), consulting advice, how to promote your business, innovative responses to the crisis, resources for employees, and (VERY IMPORTANT) a template of what to say to your landlord when asking for rent relief.
PHRMA: A coronavirus resource guide provided by the Portland HR Management Association, this list leans heavy on articles that provide deep-dives into particular scenarios, such as sick leave, the Family First Coronavirus Response Act, crisis leadership and legal advice, mental health tips, AND solid suggestions for working parents trying to make sure their kids are still learning.
THE NONPROFIT ASSOCIATION OF OREGON: Okay, but what if you work with a nonprofit? There's help here too in the form of a solid resource guide that features info on how to navigate funding opportunities during the crisis, government aid for nonprofits, a guide for next steps, and survivability advice. It also has a lot of tips any business could use, such as creating a telecommuting setup for your employees, and how to set up remote meetings like Google Hangout.
Here are some other Portland organizations with resource guides that can help guide you in the right direction:
MAC'S LIST: A good starting point for contacting your state and local reps, as well as info for veterans, artists, and job seekers.
FLOAT: Encourages and lists small businesses who want to set up fundraising and gift card campaigns. If you have the means to donate to a small struggling business, this is a good place to start your search!
BUSINESS OREGON: Walks you through the business loan and grant process, as well as providing workforce and employee assistance.
TRAVEL PORTLAND: Along with grant and loan info, they provide some solid networking suggestions for teaming up with other struggling businesses.
Know of any other good resource lists? Send them here and if they're up to snuff, we'll add them!