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  • Writer's pictureJennie Tannenbaum

Surviving and Thriving as a Small Business in the Pandemic

Tilly was sure that once she cleared the hurdle of the grand opening of Kicks and Kupcakes that the running of the business would be as sweet as her baker’s famous cream cheese frosting. She didn’t anticipate that the grand opening would take place during a pandemic.

Like other small businesses, Tilly made changes and ventured into the realm of e-commerce once the state ordered that all non-essential businesses close to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Miraculously, the shoe store and café survived the weeks that the storefront was closed. The business eventually reopened per the COVID-19 guidelines with a custom reopening and return to work plan drafted by her attorney at Simply Good Law.

The new normal was feeling less abnormal to the employees and the customers. It is now almost one year into the pandemic, Tilly after careful consideration applied for the second draw PPP loan. The business had used up a large portion of its budget for special cleaning services, supplies and equipment that was necessary to be meet the COVID-19 safety guidelines for her industry. The second draw PPP loan will cover those costs unlike the first PPP loan. These were unallocated expenditures that were not in the initial start-up budget, because she didn’t expect a pandemic.

As long as Tilly maintains good records demonstrating her expenses for these services, supplies and equipment, she will be eligible for loan forgiveness for these expenses.

Besides, consulting her attorney about taking out the second draw PPP loan, Tilly had her attorney make the updated necessary changes to her employee handbook to avoid future lawsuits. These are as follows:

Update anti-discrimination policy regarding race and religion; Update anti-discrimination policies regarding sexual preference and gender identification to align with the recent 2020 US Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia; Update the sex/gender harassment policy; and Update policies regarding infectious diseases and COVID-19 guidance, including the FFCRA.

Lastly, Tilly had scheduled a Zoom training for all employees regarding the newly updated handbook policies and provisions. She knew that an updated employee handbook without the required training would be a poor defense in any future lawsuit.

Tilly’s to do list for the month of February for Kicks and Kupcakes was complete. She turned the page of her business notebook to start a list for March 2021. Check out the next blog article for those legal matters that should be on your small business to do list for March.

This article is for information purposes only and is not meant to be construed as legal advice. For more information or discussion contact me at or at 978-681-0017.

PC: Karen Levand

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