A pandemic isn’t just a public health crisis. It has a significant impact on the global economy, as well. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is already taking a toll on businesses across the globe. While many organizations face temporary closure, small businesses may have to shut their doors permanently.
The good news is that you can minimize the devastating health and financial consequences of a pandemic with swift decision-making and prompt action. To achieve this, you must become aware of its symptoms, progress, and other guidelines through official sources. Search engines and social media platforms, propelled by high-speed internet connections, ensure that you have access to a plethora of valuable information.
However, the overabundance of information has also resulted in what WHO refers to as an “infodemic.” Circulating wrong information during a pandemic can do more harm than good. It can create undue panic and fear among your employees. That is why you should always refer to reputable and reliable resources before taking any business-related decisions during a pandemic.
From preventive measures and medical breakthroughs to business continuity guidelines and financial assistance - you will find a plethora of pandemic resources. Here is a list of a few pandemic resources that are helpful for businesses in the U.S.:
1. World Health Organization (WHO)
The World Health Organization is your go-to resource for any information related to international public health. From alerting the world about an outbreak to announcing a menacing pandemic - WHO rolls out real-time updates. It is here that you will find the most recent data, such as the number of confirmed cases, deaths, affected countries, etc. It is the most reliable source to get the latest information about what shape a pandemic is taking.
In addition to symptoms and guidelines, the WHO website outlines the timeline of events that have led to the pandemic. It also describes the steps business owners should follow to sanitize their workplaces and protect their employees. Additionally, you can access daily “Situation Reports” depicting significant global developments related to the pandemic.
If you want more details about COVID-19, click here.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC is one of the most prominent national public health institutes in the U.S. It is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is responsible for protecting you from health threats. The CDC website has been instrumental in disseminating up-to-date information about recent outbreaks.
The website showcases important data regarding the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. You also get detailed insights such as the mortality rate, rate of testing, and a state-wide breakdown of cases. Additionally, CDC provides recommendations for business owners and employers to prepare for an ongoing pandemic. You will also find useful guidance on controlling stigma and racial discrimination associated with an infectious disease.
Click here to check the CDC guidelines for COVID-19.
3. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
OSHA is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA’s work has been monumental in creating safer workplaces across the U.S. When it comes to pandemics, OSHA outlines the protocols you should follow to ensure workers’ safety. It also issues guidelines on modifying leave policies, communicating with employees, control measures, etc.
You can also refer to the OSHA website to understand your legal obligations as an employer. You will find detailed information about OSHA standards that are applicable to infectious disease exposure. The website also lists a set of additional resources for information related to the pandemic.
Here is everything OSHA has listed about COVID-19.
4. National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The National Institute of Health (NIH) is a world-renowned and leading medical research center. Unlike most online resources, NIH doesn’t just give you real-time updates and general information about the pandemic. On the NIH website, you will find details about the latest groundbreaking research on the pandemic. From vaccination and clinical drug trials to fresh insights on how a virus spreads and sustains - the website lists vital details.
Click here for the latest NIH updates on COVID-19.
5. Small Business Administration (SBA)
The U.S. Small Business Administration is a federal agency that was specifically created to support small businesses and entrepreneurs. The SBA website outlines the challenges that business owners and employers will likely face during a pandemic. Additionally, SBA provides financial assistance to small businesses to help them deal with a loss of sales and revenue.
Additionally, SBA has launched the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program to help small businesses and non-profits affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. You can apply online for low-interest working capital loans of up to $2 million. The initiative, however, applies to small businesses in certain states.
Click here for more information on SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.
6. Main Street Emergency Grant Program
This initiative was launched by U.S. Senators Chris Murphy, Jeff Merkley, and Chris Van Hollen. It aims to provide financial assistance to small and medium-sized businesses and non-profit organizations grappling with consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can quickly apply for grants to cover fixed expenses such as payroll and rent. These grants are awarded through the Treasury Department.
Click here for more information.
7. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
FEMA gives you access to crucial details, including the steps that the government is taking to control the pandemic. You will find general information about the disease as well as guidelines to bust rumors and myths. Additionally, FEMA outlines the steps you can take to maintain business continuity during a pandemic.
Click here to read FEMA’s response to COVID-19.
This is the official website of the U.S. federal government. Even though it doesn’t feature any original information, the website contains links to valuable resources. From business loans and taxes to health insurance and the government response - you will find links to essential information about the pandemic. The website will give you a clear idea of the steps that are being taken by various federal agencies and state governments.
Here is the federal government’s response to COVID-19.
A pandemic is as much of a medical catastrophe as it is a financial disaster. The dissemination of accurate information is crucial for preventing myths, stigma, and panic. Today, businesses in the U.S. have access to various resources that give them comprehensive information about outbreaks and pandemics. Some resources also provide financial assistance and business continuity guidelines.
Would you like to add any other trusted pandemic resources to this list? Share your views in the comments section below.