Most businesses, including restaurants and bars, have been cleared to open with limited capacity on June 8.
After Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s June 1 announcement that most businesses are now allowed to reopen, small business owners need to ensure that they are compliant with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that safeguards the health of employees and customers.
With the exception of hair salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and casinos, Whitmer’s order cleared most businesses, including restaurants and bars, to open with limited capacity June 8.
Many Jewish business owners are turning to Lindsay Sikora, owner and founder of Sikora Business Solutions, a consulting company aimed at providing business owners with the tools they need to succeed including helping them create and implement a plan to reopen their businesses during this unprecedented time.
Sikora, a Hillel Day School alumna who attends services at Temple Shir Shalom, is also the owner and founder of Sikora Law Firm where she specializes in insurance liability law, commercial litigation and business transactions. She’s also co-owner, with her husband, of True Martial Arts in West Bloomfield.
“Business owners need to put a plan in place that provides for sick leave for employees who test positive for COVID-19 and a designated space where those who are exhibiting symptoms can isolate,” she said. “They also need to ensure they’re following CDC social distancing guidelines.” Guidelines include use of PPE and face coverings.
Sikora recommends business owners check out the OSHA website. “OSHA has a great set of guidelines that outline a 10-step process,” she said. “Business owners also need to familiarize themselves with the CARES Act to tailor their illness protocols and sick leave policies.
“Companies also need to have the new labor law poster visible where employees can see it,” she added.
She’s also counseling businesses to designate a “COVID director,” one person responsible for ensuring guidelines are being followed and people are kept safe.
Business owners could face liability if employees or customers fall ill with COVID-19, but those who follow all the guidelines and show due diligence in protecting the people on their premises are likely to be able to defend themselves effectively, Sikora said.
“Most business owners have been in survival mode, but now is the time to adapt,” she said. “There is so much more employers can do now to make lasting changes to improve their businesses.”
Sikora said that many of the business owners she’s been working with feel nervous and overwhelmed, “but most are excited to reopen, and as they educate their employees about changes that will help their businesses adapt and grow, that excitement is shining through.”