COVID-19 is causing a dramatic impact on our lives, businesses, and healthcare systems. Businesses are being forced to shutter and seeing dramatic decreases in sales, affecting cash flow and the jobs of their employees, while healthcare systems are running critically low on medical supplies.
Despite these challenging times, everyone — from government associations to financial institutions to Alibaba.com — is working fast to provide easy-to-use guides for small businesses to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Alibaba.com's focus today is the same as it's always been — supporting small businesses through the ups and the downs.
We have compiled this list of resources with that in mind. These guides vary from loan resources to practical tips for your small business to sourcing supplies for healthcare professionals. You will find each page grouped under one of these sections: strategy information, working capital solutions, supply chain information, access to personal protective equipment (PPE), and other resources.
Put together by the US Chamber of Commerce, this guide outlines different strategies and resources for small businesses to use. They address concerns under four key topics: strategy, human resources, technology, and customers. It is full of practical tips and articles (such as "5 ways to retain your customers during the coronavirus outbreak" and "Top tech tools to keep your team connected during coronavirus") to help SMBs navigate this challenging time.
Bank of America compiled a list of resources — ranging from finance to operations — to help you do the next right thing for your business.
Retail Minded has put together this resource guide for retailers affected by COVID-19. It covers topics from shipping to social media to ecommerce to general consultation. You can explore a variety of services that will help your business move forward despite the coronavirus.
This page offers resources and guidance on everything from preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace to logistics and travel assistance. You can also get in touch with a Small Business Advisor through this page.
Local NY state resources:
Although this guide is created specifically with NYC small business in mind, there are many resources applicable to SMBs throughout the US. It covers everything from general health and hygiene to being transparent with employees about the effects of COVID-19 on your business.
The guide also includes an emergency planning process checklist that goes into detail about tasks you should complete, such as documenting employee contacts, listing names of vendors, and insurance tips to protect investments.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard has a working document with resources they continuously update. Some of the information is specific to small businesses in New York, such as financial resources and guidance from the NY Department of Health. However, they also cover general material that small businesses anywhere in the US can use. This includes supply chain resources, crisis communications, and HR support.
At Alibaba.com, our mission is to be an ally to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and help them succeed. To better serve these businesses, we’re issuing the Alibaba.com B2B Pulse, a monthly update that serves two primary purposes: First, we will aggregate the biggest macro developments relevant to US SMBs and second, we will share proprietary insights into US B2B demand that we observe on the Alibaba.com global B2B marketplace. We hope this helps our customers, media, and wider community of people in the B2B world have a richer understanding of the landscape. We also hope to have some fun with this as B2B sales often act as a leading indicator for what’s to come not only in retail trends, but even changes in our everyday lives.
Working capital solutions:
The US Small Business Association (SBA) created this guide to cover all different COVID-19 relief options. It covers multiple ways for small businesses to access capital and receive low-interest loans.
Shopify compiled this list of government relief programs available in numerous countries. For the US, they listed participating states. Each state has an overview covering the amount of money small businesses can take out as a loan/grant, if there is any interest taken and how much, and the number of employees they must have to qualify. Shopify is continuously updating this resource as new government relief programs become available around the world.
One of our financial partners, Kabbage, Inc, created www.helpsmallbusiness.com, a free program to help US businesses generate revenue immediately. This service enables anyone to purchase an online gift certificate for your business. While the gift certificate is redeemable at any time, businesses get the money as soon as the next business day. Multiple gift certificates can be purchased for any amount between US $15 and US $500.
WEConnect International helps drive money into the hands of women business owners by enabling them to compete in the global marketplace. Hear from the CEO and Co-founder Elizabeth Vazquez on the benefits of certifying your business as a diverse-owned enterprise.
Local NYC resources:
Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio announced that the city will provide some financial relief for small businesses seeing a decrease in revenue because of COVID-19. This page walks small business owners through the application process for grants and loans and the requirements for eligibility.
The Brooklyn community has been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the local small businesses were shut out of the loan programs. To help support these businesses, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce designed the Bring Back Brooklyn Fund as a non-profit fund to provide vital support to neighborhood businesses that need it most.
Supply chain information:
This piece from Deloitte Canada highlights short-term actions companies can take to respond to business disruption and supply chain challenges from the global spread of COVID-19 ─ and looks ahead to the longer-term solution of digital supply networks.
This piece from Ernst & Young offers advice on how to handle sudden disruptions like staff shortages, restrictions to delivery routes, and changes in buying patterns.
This article from Supply Chain Digital takes a closer look at supply chain consultancy Efficio’s report "Setting up a post-COVID-19 supply chain."
This article from Supply Chain Dive asks four supply chain experts to weigh in on how to reduce the risk presented by COVID-19.
While there are people drawing comparisons with the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, there are several key differences from a global trade and supply chain perspective spelled out in this Entrepreneur article.
The Incoterms® rules are standard sets of trading terms and conditions designed to assist traders when goods are sold and transported. They are created and published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Incoterms® are the ICCs standard definitions of trade terms and are internationally recognized as indispensable evidence of the buyer’s and seller’s responsibilities for delivery under a sales contract.
Despite being such an integral part of cross-border trade, most people don’t know much about shipping and logistics and the associated terminology. That is why Freightos designed this guide to provide comprehensive information about incoterms, clearly explaining each one in a way that anyone can understand.
C.H. Robinson has compiled these rules into a unique tool that provides buyers and sellers with a point of reference for what each party is obliged to do and where responsibility lies in the event of loss, damage, or other mishap.
Access to personal protective equipment (PPE):
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a range of medical supplies in high demand, and many healthcare systems around the world are running critically low. To provide direct access and facilitate sourcing by hospitals, healthcare systems, and relevant government authorities, the Alibaba.com Select team has identified and organized high-quality suppliers of masks under a single online destination. Purchase affirmation is required to ensure products are directed only to health organizations and government authorities.
If you've never sourced from Alibaba.com and need a quick lesson, "Your guide to sourcing on Alibaba.com" is a review of the sourcing process from start to finish. You can find all the information you need on finding products, payments, and shipping and logistics.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices and the safety of our nation's food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.
We strongly encourage reviewing the regulations set forth by the US FDA before importing products.
A 510(K) is a premarket submission made to the FDA to show that the device to be marketed is safe and effective.
The FDA issued this guidance to provide a policy that helps expand the availability of general-use face masks for the public and particulate filtering facepiece respirators (including N95 respirators) for health care professionals during this pandemic.
The policy is intended to remain in effect only for the duration of the public health emergency related to COVID-19 declared by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including any renewals made by the Secretary in accordance with section 319(a)(2) of the Public Health Services (PHS) Act.
The US FDA is providing instructions to the import community regarding the submission of entry information for personal protective equipment (PPE) and other specific devices. Following the instructions set in this section of the FDA website helps facilitate the import process for all — especially for products related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Because this is a fluid situation and FDA policy for these products are updated regularly, visit the FDA website for the most up to date information on entry submission.
Join us for virtual events to help your business navigate these challenging times. Every week we will share new resources, creative ideas, and different perspectives on business adjustments due to the effects of COVID-19. You can be a part of the conversation, share any tips that have helped you, and ask us questions.
The creators of Hello Alice, a machine learning technology resource that helps individuals start and grow a business by matching them with personalized opportunities, launched the COVID-19 business resource center for small business owners adapting to the effects of the coronavirus. They divided it into ten separate sections, covering everything from anxiety and mental health support to connect with a community to operate a remote team. They divided it into ten separate sections, covering everything from "anxiety and mental health support" to "connect with a community" to "operate a remote team." The guide is updated daily with resources as they become available.
The influencers listed below are sharing new articles and information on their social platforms as more resources become available:
We hope you found this resource kit helpful and easy to navigate. We will be bringing you additional tips and resources in the coming weeks. Let us know what resources and support would be helpful to you and your small business.
Stay in contact with your customers and keep them up to date on your long term plan.