The Business Council of Alabama (BCA) continues to closely monitor the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on job creators, workers, and families. BCA is working closely with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to monitor the recent outbreak and its potential impact on the economy and the business community. There will likely be a slowdown in economic growth. The U.S. Chamber, in partnership with the White House, U.S. government agencies, and foreign government officials, has provided the most up-to-date information to ensure both employers and employees are prepared to address this issue.
Economic Impact: In the U.S. and Around the World
Fundamentals Remain Strong
If you looked at the economic picture just weeks ago, it was very bright: unemployment at a 50-year low, strong wage growth, and record optimism among small businesses. Those underlying strength of our economy remains, but the coronavirus is a significant disruption. It may be a temporary and transitory disruption, but there is a very real risk that families will lose income and businesses could go under as a result.
Drag On Global Growth, Modest Impact in U.S.
The spread of the coronavirus is a drag on global growth, which includes the United States. Growth in the United States will likely slow in the first and maybe second quarters.
Consumer Confidence Is The Wildcard
We are closely monitoring consumer confidence as it will have significant bearing on the length of the disruption and the depth of the slowdown.
Rebound Likely Once Virus Is Contained
When the virus is contained, there will be a bounce back in growth that likely makes up for lost output. The longer the spread continues, the longer it will take to see that rebound.
Combating the Coronavirus Toolkit provided by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce includes:
- Guidance for employers to plan and respond to the Coronavirus
- Workplace tips and resources for employers to combat the virus
- Corporate aid tracker for details on how businesses are helping nationwide
- Survey on business impact results from the American Chamber of Commerce in China
- Resilience in a Box toolkit created in partnership with UPS
- Additional resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Information from the U.S. Small Business Administration:
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has provided information on available SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) assistance. This program is designed to make economic injury assistance available to small businesses affected by the Coronavirus. SBA also shared the following contact information if you have specific questions:
- For States (Alabama) and Territories in Federal Regions I-V, contact: Kem Fleming, Director of Field Operations Center East, at firstname.lastname@example.org;
For other requests for SBA Office of Disaster Assistance HQ, contact Alejandro Contreras at email@example.com
In addition to the resources included above, the U.S. Chamber and CDC suggest:
- Actively encouraging employees to stay home when sick.
- Emphasizing the importance of hand washing and respiratory etiquette by all employees.
- Routinely cleaning all frequently touched surfaces and providing cleaning wipes to employees to do the same.
- Making fact-based decisions regarding travel and complying with the latest guidance, specifically surrounding international travel.
- Maintaining business as usual with limited disruptions while monitoring the evolving situation.
- Mitigating household fear by keeping all employees informed on the facts of the situation and educating them on how they can prepare for the potential impacts of the virus.
Useful Articles and Resources for businesses effected by COVID-19 BCA and Bradley webinar “What Your Business Needs to Know about the CARES Act.”
Useful Articles and Resources for businesses effected by COVID-19
BCA and Bradley webinar “What Your Business Needs to Know about the CARES Act.”