County Tipperary Chamber has issued advice to local businesses in the wake of the restrictions put in place by the Government since Thursday to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The Chamber has issued a statement to business owners in the country setting out what they need to do in this “unprecedented time”.
“As we experience this unprecedented time, what is needed is a clear plan,” says the statement. “ As business owners we should be familiar with planning, planning your sales strategy, planning for company growth or planning to enter a new market.
“A significant amount of businesses have been caught off guard, a pandemic such as Covid-19 is not something even the best Business Continuity Plan may have allowed for.
“The last week has been one of serious concern for business, questions such as how will my business survive, how can my staff work from home, can I afford to pay my staff, are comments heard frequently? There are also the personal concerns for oneself and family to add to the worries.
The statement outlined that the closure of schools, colleges and childcare facilities until March 29, requires the escalation of a business’s planning process.
“If staff can’t get their children minded, how will they come to work?
So, let's pause for a moment and get the planning hats on even at this stage, and ask yourself the following.
Can your staff work from home? Does your business have the technical capabilities and secure measures to enable this?
Do you have the capabilities to divert office phones to company mobiles when staff are working remotely?
Can you operate a rotation system for staff some are in the office on a skeleton crew, whilst other work from home?
Can you just focus on business-critical items, rationalise what your business can provide and service during this period?
Can non-critical client meetings be held via conference service?
If you need to attend face-to-face meetings with clients, work together and agree an appropriate venue, where there is enough space (1 meter) between attendees to limit exposures.
Keep face-to-face meeting times to a minimum of 30 minutes. You can be very effective when time is scarce. Don’t forget good personal hygiene, hand washing, sneeze and cough behaviours and remember avoiding shaking hands.
“The most important item that any business owner can do during this time, is remain calm. Focus on the health and welfare of yourself, your staff and your family. Business will always move forward, business will stabilise and recover. However if we do not implement and follow the guidance from the HSE, Government and WHO, it may have a detrimental impact on the more vulnerable of the wider community,” the statement concluded.