The Daily Rundown

SMB News Daily Rundown: Coronavirus Update for March 20

Welcome to the Small Business Rundown. Each day, we bring you stories that impact small business owners and their workforce.

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Small business News Highlights for March 20:

  • Governors of California, New York, and Illinois declare total lockdown of non-essential businesses and services
  • “Essential” businesses and services are allowed to remain open
  • U.S.-Mexico border closed to non-essential travel

“When I talk about the most drastic action we can take — this is the most drastic action we can take.”

Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all Californians to “shelter-in-place” yesterday evening in an attempt to prevent an estimated 25 million residents from contracting the virus that causes the illness known as COVID-19.

Governor Andrew Cuomo issues a similar order for New Yorkers today, noting that 100% of workers should say home … apart from those engaged in essential services.

Residents of Illinois will also be subject to an order to stay home under most circumstances beginning Saturday.

So which businesses and services are considered “essential” during these lock-downs? While residents should check with local authorities, pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations, utility and internet providers and public services are generally allowed to remain open. In New York, barber shops, nail salons and tattoo parlors are not considered essential. Liquor stores, however, are.

“Both countries know the importance of working together to limit the spread of the virus and ensure the commerce that supports our economy continues to keep flowing.”

The president announced that the border between the U.S. and Mexico is now closed to all non-essential traffic, though officials from both countries are looking at ways to make sure that trade and essential travel is not interrupted

Finally, the New York Times published a piece on key steps the government can take to prevent the decimation of the nation’s small business community. These include:

  • Freezing commercial rent
  • Send cash to small business owners
  • Support hard-hit employees
  • Call on Americans to take up the cause of small businesses

Meanwhile, in the time since we started this round up, Connecticut joined the list of states instructing non-essential workers to stay home.

Stay home, stay safe, take care.

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