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All business owners have been faced with a whole new range of challenges as a result of the rise of the coronavirus pandemic. Many have been forced to look at new ways to address how they do their work and how they interface with their customers. However, some have recognized that they have the resources and the reach to help the broader community as well. Here, we’re going to look at how business leaders, many of them women, have been able to support their local community during the pandemic.
Support your team first and foremost
Before you start looking outward, be sure to take a look inward and think about how you’re currently helping your team get through the pandemic. In a lot of places, lockdown may be scaling back but the work paradigm may still remain shifted for a long time yet. As such, those who may be remaining in or going back to a remote working set-up, or opening their business again, but adapting it to the pandemic, may be able to look at things like producing tips and guidelines for setting up a home office and working from home, for example. Before you look at what you can do for your community, ask what you can do for your team.
Offering new resources online
A lot of business owners have been having trouble moving their work online and turning, in some shape or form, into an “online business.” However, some business owners like Crystal Evuleocha of Kliit, a digital health company, have taken as an opportunity to offer new services that are direly needed and to make them more broadly available to more people. In that particular instance, they have begun to launch telemedicine consultations aimed at women, which can include medical advice, as well as diagnoses and prescriptions. Furthermore, in order to help people who might lack access to regular medical services as a result, Kliit has ensured that these services are available no matter what the insurance coverage of the user is.
Working with local communities
Other companies (especially health organizations) are aiming their assistance more directly at their local communities. This is the case with, for instance, Kaiser Permanente, an integrated health organization headed up by Cynthia Telles amongst the board of directors. In this case, they are partnering with organizations in the local community, using their resources to pinpoint community health problems, such as preventing the spread of coronavirus and aiming their expertise where it is most needed. As well,, they have been making sure that services that have made a secondary focus, such as providing treatment for cancer and chronic disease, are not falling by the wayside.
Offering support to nonprofits
As well as community organizations, business leaders can look to local nonprofits and charitable organizations that could, now more than ever, benefit from the reach and the resources that they have to offer. For instance, Hanna Gree, CEO of CMNGD Linens, moved from delivering foods to businesses in the restaurant business to helping nonprofits deliver food to people in need, as well as overseeing the overall movement of large shipments of food to the places that needed it most. Many businesses can look at the vulnerable communities in their area and how they have been affected by the pandemic. In many cases, resources have been shifted away from them, leaving the nonprofits who aim to help in dire need of help.
Shifting production to assist
A lot of companies, both women and men-owned, who have manufacturing or construction expertise have shifted their productivity towards creating products that can help when it comes to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, many new and old manufacturers have jumped into making masks, with many of them also donating a sizeable amount of masks to help essential personnel who need them. In other cases, there have been instances of businesses that construct things like business booths; instead constructing coronavirus testing tents for any public venues that need to have them in place. This isn’t possible for every business, of course. However, those that can pivot their productivity not only help the community, but they also find a way to continue getting paid and paying for their labor while other businesses have paused.
Business owners and leaders, many of them women, have been at the core of the fight against COVID-19, with the examples above showing just some of the ways they’ve taken that fight out to the communities. Are there ways that you and your business can be the pillar your community needs, too?