Pandemic changes playbook radically for small businesses

Tom Kindred

Tom Kindred produces special COVID-19 episodes of the podcast Small Biz Florida.

We hope this issue of Treasure Coast Business finds you, your family and your business team safe and healthy.

Remember the good ole days of small business ownership — just a few weeks ago — when the greatest challenges only included hiring employees, government regulations, federal income taxes, compliance, health care, cash flow, rising costs and understanding social media. Business as usual is now unusual. The playbook, rules and playing field for small business have changed, maybe forever.

The COVID-19 crisis has certainly solidified that Main Street and Small Business is the backbone of the economy. We have all learned just how important local merchants, retailers, restaurants, grocery stores and service providers are to our daily lives and communities. When our lives return to normal — remember those local small businesses by giving them a review on social media or better yet, support your local business community through your buying power.

Treasure Coast Business magazine was created to cover and highlight the regional business community and those innovative small business owners who possess remarkable business acumen and provide employment opportunities for the majority of Treasure Coast residents. Completely closing a small business operation, regardless of the time period, is a tough obstacle to overcome. However, small business owners are a resilient and savvy group. After this crisis passes, we are confident there will be many, many more Treasure Coast small business success stories to cover and celebrate.

Beyond highlighting small business success, Treasure Coast Business editors, writers and staff take seriously the publication’s directive of providing relevant, accurate, actionable and timely business information. Much of the content for this issue focuses on advice, services and loan programs related to the COVID-19 issue. You will find a special section included in this issue produced and sponsored by the Florida Small Business Development Center Network. This section provides important information that can be used by small business owners to work their way through this difficult business environment.

The Florida SBDC at Indian River State College also is focused on providing timely information through the pages of Treasure Coast Business magazine and using its new podcast, Small Biz Florida, that is launched and available through normal app and podcast providers. Also subscribe to the Treasure Coast Business daily updates for the most current Treasure Coast business news, assistance programs and updates.

Small business owners need to be preparing now for when the COVID-19 issue passes and the business can reopen. Some issues for the business to consider now:

• How to rebuild staff and create a sense of TEAMwork
• Can some of the team continue to work from home
• Strategizing and planning for new opportunities that may develop from disaster recovery efforts
• Updating and/or changing the business’ go-to market strategies
• Considering a new sales approach
• Can the business survive and thrive utilizing more of an online sales and customer engagement strategy
• What is the reopening marketing message
• Create and develop the organization’s business continuation and disaster plan

The Florida SBDC at IRSC is here and on the job today to begin assisting with small business relief and recovery. Stay updated with the Florida SBDC at IRSC as it will soon be offering COVID-19 specific training and consulting assistance programs to prepare your business to re-engage in the marketplace.

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Magazine Inc. For more information or to report news email