Reopening Checklist

Reopening Your Small Business After the Coronavirus Shutdown

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Cities around the nation are beginning to lift their COVID-19-related restrictions. For businesses that closed their brick-and-mortar locations, the following steps will help you plan for reopening while protecting customers and employees.


  • Stay abreast of current federal, state and local COVID-19 guidelines for businesses, as well as industry-specific guidelines.

  • Sign up for updates from the Centers for Disease Control, the SBA, state and local health departments, and relevant industry associations.

  • If you have multiple locations, be aware of COVID-19 related laws in each locale.

  • Designate a COVID-19 team of one or more employees to oversee your COVID-19 response and reopening plan.


  • Create a cash flow forecast including optimistic, pessimistic and realistic models.

  • Look for ways to cut expenses and add new revenue streams.

  • Estimate increased costs for retrofitting space, deep cleaning, ongoing sanitation, etc.

  • Keep updated on financial assistance available from lenders and government sources.

  • Communicate with landlords, creditors, vendors and lenders to negotiate payments.

  • Ask your insurance agent about appropriate coverage to protect against lawsuits from customers or employees after reopening.


  • If your business pivoted during closure (for example, adding tele-appointments, ecommerce, delivery service, curbside pickup, new products or services, working remotely), decide which elements to continue. Consider surveying customers to get their opinions.

  • Decide if you will reopen in stages or all at once.

  • Determine if you need to adjust business hours to allow for limited numbers of customers or provide extra time for cleaning.

  • Ensure you have adequate sources of equipment, inventory and supplies needed to run your business, as well as backup sources if your primary vendors can’t fulfill your orders.


  • Identify staffing needs for each stage of reopening.

  • Understand how COVID-19 related employment laws affect your decisions. A SCORE mentor or local employment attorney can help.

  • Update your operations handbook and employee handbook to reflect new policies and procedures consistent with public health guidelines.

  • Contact employees to discuss their needs. Create a plan to help at-risk employees, parents or caregivers who may need special accommodations to return to work.

  • Create a business continuity plan and a crisis communications plan in case an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs at your business.

  • Train employees on new procedures including cleaning, social distancing and health screenings.

  • Cross-train employees so you have backup in place if some workers are absent.


  • Develop procedures for cleaning and disinfecting workspaces, surfaces and shared tools regularly and educate employees on them.

  • Provide soap, tissue, trash cans, hand sanitizer and EPA-approved disinfecting wipes throughout your workplace.

  • Put up signage directing employees on workplace sanitation, hand-washing, hygiene, social distancing habits and symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Depending on local and industry regulations, provide masks and gloves for employees or allow them to bring their own.

  • Provide more frequent breaks for employees to wash their hands.

  • Secure sources (including backup sources) for regular supply of cleaners, disinfectants and personal protective equipment (PPE).


  • Move employee workstations at least 6 feet apart. Install acrylic barriers or use cubicle walls to further limit contact.

  • Eliminate shared workstations if possible; if not, provide disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer and disposable gloves at each shared space.

  • Use videoconferencing or conference call technology to avoid in-person meetings with clients, customers and partners.

  • Stagger schedules so fewer employees are in the workspace at one time.

  • Allow remote work when possible; provide necessary equipment for employees to work securely.

  • Limit employee travel, including travel between multiple locations of your business.

  • Provide PPE for customers or other visitors or require them to bring their own.

  • Develop a plan for handling customers, visitors and employees who refuse to follow your health and safety guidelines.


  • Educate employees about COVID-19 symptoms and the need to stay home when sick.

  • Develop a policy for screening employees (for example, with touch thermometers) or having employees self-screen before coming to work.

  • Plan what to do if an employee, customer or visitor develops symptoms at work, including notifying employees and customers and cleaning and disinfecting the workplace.


  • Keep your website, Google My Business and other local search listings updated with current information and hours of operation.

  • Develop a marketing plan for your grand re-opening via emails, social media, chats, etc.

  • Hang signage in your physical business windows notifying customers of your plans.

  • Create messaging to explain how you are keeping customers and employees safe.


Leadville Lake County EDC

400 Harrison Ave Suite 100

PO Box 1503

Leadville, CO 80461


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