As a business owner, you’ve done all you can to respond to the COVID-19 disruption. You’ve set up remote working arrangements for your employees. You’ve closed parts of your business—voluntarily or by edict—to promote social distancing. You’ve communicated with your clients and customers about how you’ll run your operation for the next few weeks or months.
Now is the time to look at protecting your biggest investment: the commercial property you lease or own. Your office, industrial space and retail space still require attention if your business is to survive COVID-19. Commercial Real Estate Group of Tucson has several suggestions.
Stay in touch with your landlord to find out if anyone in your multi-tenant building has been tested positive for the novel coronavirus. This information will help you decide what measures you want to take to protect your employees and your business.
If your office, plant or store is maintaining a workforce at your commercial property, consider implementing split shifts to accommodate social distancing. Make sure your employees and customers follow the recommendations of the CDC to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
- Maintain a distance from each other.
- Constantly sanitize high-touch areas such as equipment, door knobs and elevator buttons.
- Follow personal hygiene recommendations: wash hands, cover coughs with your arm, stay home if you’re sick.
Discuss with your landlord plans for dealing with common areas. Maintaining sanitized areas will create added cost for more supplies and workforce.
If you close your business, make sure that certain aspects of your commercial space are maintained. Security will protect your assets. HVAC will protect your product. Phone and computer services will allow you to continue your operations wherever your employees are working.
Remote working, or telecommuting, are effective alternatives for such roles as accounting, administration and human resources.
Before you implement remote working, make sure employees have access to proprietary software. Purchase additional use licenses. Determine how people will stay in touch with each other, with customers and with management.
I highly recommend that you contact your landlord and/or your lender about financial obligations. I am already seeing business owners who cannot make a rent payment or pay a mortgage because of the disruption.
Reach out to your landlord or lender to see what arrangements can be made to delay payment. Remember that landlords don’t want your business to close, which will affect their own bottom lines.
Review your commercial insurance and understand what losses are covered. There will likely be much discussion about the definition of “acts of God” provisions that will determine how you can recover from your losses stemming from COVID-19.
Even as the virus affects how we live our lives, there are activities that need to continue. You might need to find new commercial property, extend or draw up lease contracts or continue improving your space for the benefit of your business.
As a commercial real estate broker and tenant representative, I can help guide you through this and answer your questions about how to protect your important asset. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.