How Business Owners in Ohio Can Endure the Pandemic:
A Bridge Over Troubled Waters
The year to date has been a very difficult one for small businesses throughout the United States. And in Ohio, that inevitably means that many Irish-American business owners have been impacted as well.
From the early Irish businesses in Cleveland to modern shops, restaurants and establishments throughout the state, the community has always had a presence in the state’s small business economy. With that presence under threat from the coronavirus and ensuing recession though, it’s time to look at what businesses can do to endure present conditions, and come out positively on the other end.
The most important thing that area businesses can do is to keep an eye out for available relief from state and local government. Ohio small business relief has been hit or miss given the sporadic availability of funding.
But as of this writing a new allotment of $419.5 million to help small businesses (as well as low-income families and other entities) has been made available, and businesses are able to apply for grants of up to $10,000. This is hopefully just one example of more aid packages to come, but it speaks to what may be available for suitable businesses. Owners should be well aware of how this and any subsequent financial assistance efforts work, so as to take advantage of every possible opportunity to better manage operations during the pandemic.
Irish-American Ohio business owners (and business owners in general) can also use this time to consider certain operations changes that might be beneficial with regard to the pandemic. On a consumer-facing level, this primarily means finding ways to project safety and cleanliness at a business location. Recent consumer surveys have made it clear that people value the idea of stores prioritizing cleaning in light of the coronavirus. It stands to reason then that business owners looking for ways to endure the pandemic and emerge in good shape should not only work on in-store cleaning, but also advertising that cleaning as a means of reassuring and attracting customers.
On a more internal level, now is a time for business owners to look into fresh protections for themselves and their assets as well. Depending on the nature of the company, that can mean obtaining disaster insurance, starting up an emergency fund, etc. It can also mean exploring liability status, which may ultimately call for the establishment of the business in more formal terms.
A Limited Liability Company, for instance, is a common option for owners who want to protect personal assets from business issues (which can be a worthwhile protection in difficult times). And forming an LLC in Ohio happens to be a quick enough process for business owners to complete in a matter of hours.
With a business restructured in this fashion, personal standing can be more secure — and the business may enjoy a better tax situation, as an added perk when money may be tight.
As a final point — and a bit more of a fun one to lighten the conversation — it might not be a bad idea for an Irish business owner in Ohio to emphasize the Ireland connection! Not only can this help a business to stand out, but it may actually tap into a budding narrative as well.
Ireland startup funding recently ranked top in Europe, which could well mean that the country is on its way to gaining a more robust reputation for its business culture. Positioning yourself (from a marketing perspective) as an extension of this project in the U.S. may not be a bad idea. Sure, it may be something of a gimmick, but it’s a fun one, and it may well help a business to stand out against the competition in the midst of a challenging situation.