Businesses, large and small, are in the midst of responding to ever-changing information regarding the health and safety of their employees, clients, customers, stakeholders, volunteers, and their own families as we all tackle this extraordinary world-wide event. We've compiled a few tips and resources to help us all support one another.
The unprecedented amount of information can be overwhelming. For businesses that have a governing body or an association, check in with those organizations for updates and direction, as well as tools you may be able to use. At the government level, your local municipality will provide updates and will have response teams and emergency preparedness plans, but municipalities in will take direction from:
- Regionally: Interior Health
- Provincially: BC Centre for Disease Control, and the Ministry of Health (BC's Pandemic Coordination Plan can be read online)
- Federally: Health Canada
- Internationally: World Health Organization
Employers may want to read this article from Osler, a respected legal firm, as well as these guidelines from the United States Centers for Disease Control, both full of practical information to keep your employees healthy. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture has a list of resources, and while this article by Fortify Conference co-founder Sandra Oldfield is directed at wineries, many of the ideas -- having a business buddy, an up-to-date employee roster, reviewing your business plan -- can be applied to any business. Destination BC is providing updates related to tourism, in light of developing travel restrictions and policies for large-scale events, as well as planning tools for tourism operators.
At last year's FutureBiz conference in Penticton, the theme was "When Disaster Strikes", and speakers addressed a number of topics that are timely now.
- Business Continuation Planning
- Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19 (World Health Organization )
- PreparedBC: Guide for Small Business (Government of BC)
While we are all practicing social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, turning to remote work, postponing events, and doing away with handshakes, we are all in this together, in a manner of speaking, and we'll be ready to get back to business by taking these necessary precautions now.