Recovery expert: “Some companies will never reopen”

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Jewelers are shuttered on a deserted Hatton Garden in London's Clerkenwell district.

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When economies finally reopen, many businesses will remain closed while they struggle with the new environment.

This is the fear of a global disaster recovery group helping companies recover from crises like coronavirus.

Small business owners are more vulnerable and may have to become entrepreneurs again to survive.

“Restarting a business is much more difficult than closing a business,” says the Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRI).

“When the economy reopens, it will not return to business,” said Chloe Demrovsky, chief executive of DRI, a non-profit organization. “Our habits may have changed with the width of our portfolios. “

During the coronavirus closings, activities such as grocery shopping, watching movies, business meetings, and online learning, among others, moved widely online. These may not be short-term trends, and companies will have to adapt to them as our buying behavior changes.

“Individual decisions like this will be multiplied across countries and the world at large. Businesses that don’t get creative now about how they can be useful in a new post-Covid economy will have a hard time, “said Ms. Demrovsky.

While large, highly regulated companies have strong contingency plans and strong risk management programs, small companies normally do not. “These businesses will continue to suffer and many will never reopen. What we have seen after community-wide crises in the past is that anyone who used to be a small business owner is now an entrepreneur again and should approach the problem from there. perspective. “

The new normal

Commercial adjusters say companies should plan measures like fewer hours, staggered shifts and more shift changes for their staff.

For retailers, they should prepare for a greater distance between customers and individually wrapped food (no samples or testers). They may need policies in place to reassure customers and employees such as additional and visible cleaning, as well as appropriate protection for employees such as masks, gloves and temperature controls.

“Some things can change forever. Conferences and major events are likely to be canceled or infrequent for a long time. This can be the nail in the coffin for shared workspaces and open office floor plans, as we all now realize the importance of walls. ” added Ms. Demrovsky.

If schools remain closed or switch to regular home learning days, employers will need to be understanding and flexible with working parents.

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