We’ve been sharing information for the last couple of weeks on all of the social platforms to help you get assistance for your business while transitioning to a remote workforce. Today I wanted to provide a roll-up of that information for those that haven’t seen them yet. We will continue to share business information so please choose your social media source and follow us there. This is going to be a very long post so I’ll group them into categories.
Just to re-affirm our commitment to you. We are an essential business according to the CISA and State of Michigan and we’ll take that responsibility seriously. We’ve been working tirelessly 7 days a week, long hours, to get your staff converted to remote work. Let us know how we can make that experience better for you. Converting to cloud data storage, cloud applications, training your staff, modernize business processes, are all things that we can do that will make a dramatic difference to the productivity of your people. Let us help.
Legal and insurance
Guidance on what constitutes essentials services from CISA and Michigan https://www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/CISA-Guidance-on-Essential-Critical-Infrastructure-Workers-1-20-508c.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3pDvoVNd4Mr_Z89X9OVBJYNax2yMZsgJqUqvjDBeFBLTHt3eAwWFMnljI https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90705—,00.html For the Michigan one scroll down to the bottom to view the most recent order and work your way up. There are about 20 executive orders.
Family First Act covers all small business from 1 person with a part-time employee up to 500 people. Full and part-time employees are covered in this new law. Usually the smallest of business are exempt from employment laws but not this time. Here’s what you need to know. https://www.mcafeetaft.com/president-signs-families-first-coronavirus-response-act-to-provide-paid-sick-leave-and-expand-family-medical-leave-act/?fbclid=IwAR1rRAymF0lnsuZUStqhVsb7XLaNRqApP4hi_kgWCyYsXHv1Z94iYb–QZI
Will your business insurance cover this disruption? With the arrival of Covid-19, most businesses have been affected in a variety of ways. In most cases the effects have resulted in reductions in revenues. Insureds are asking if their insurance policies contain coverage for Business Income, or Business Interruption, or Extra Expense losses related to the effects of Covid-19. In the vast majority of cases, the answer is “no.”
If a policy set has a Property coverage form that is the basis for a Business Income/Interruption/Extra Expense grant of coverage, it is automatic for the insurer to attach an endorsement to the policy that excludes all coverage for anything that might result from a virus or bacteria.
The industry-standard exclusions that were designed in 2006 and that became ubiquitous in issued policies in 2008 are named:
• CP 01 40 07 06 Exclusion Of Loss Due To Virus Or Bacteria, which is the ISO form; and
• CL0700 1006 VIRUS OR BACTERIA EXCLUSION, which is the AAIS form.
(The bulk of insurance policies issued in the United States are on policies published by Insurance Services Offices, Inc. (“ISO”) or American Association of Insurance Services, Inc. (“AAIS”). Many of the proprietary policy forms used by insurance companies are based on the underlying policy structure created by ISO or AAIS. Those proprietary forms will have copyright notices indicating the incorporation of some material that is the property of ISO or AAIS.)
For the (generally) smaller businesses that have coverage on a Businessowners Policy such as the ISO form BP 00 03 07 13 BUSINESSOWNERS COVERAGE FORM, Business Income coverage is included in the basic form, as is the exclusion that takes away any protections for events that arise directly or indirectly in any way from viruses or bacteria.
Above in the Family First Act note that there is an opportunity to claim on your taxes expenses incurred by complying.
$100 Million in small business grants for rent assistance. https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/grants?mod=article_inline
SBA loans specific to this virus situation. https://slotkin.house.gov/media/press-releases/rep-slotkin-outlines-steps-small-businesses-can-take-apply-sba-coronavirus
Work from home
Free training on PowerPoint, Teams, OneNote and Stress reduction. I’ll point out that it’s Amy teaching the Teams class on the 31st. https://getbiggerbrains.com/work-from-home-tech-training-tuesdays/?fbclid=IwAR2K4DvXG6hVfKnsWRJUX7MD4TIUxFynz8VQKOdwoTQiFGaFo8BdzgoA_aw
Let us know what training your staff needs. The above are going to be generic but Ted and Sarah have been giving our clients training in Teams consistently these last couple of weeks. They will tailor it to exactly fit your needs and concerns.
Coming soon. Amy will be interviewing our clients with experience in managing remote workers and sharing the tips that they have for you. Keep an eye on our social media locations for that. If you would like to share a tip let Amy know at firstname.lastname@example.org
News from Comcast on Free WIFI connections, unlimited data, and educational content for children at home. In addition they are waiving all disconnects if you just call them to say that you will have a problem paying your bill. Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch a browser. Pausing Our Data Plan: With so many people working and educating from home, we want our customers to access the internet without thinking about data plans. While the vast majority of our customers do not come close to using 1TB of data in a month, we are pausing our data plans for 60 days giving all customers Unlimited data for no additional charge.
Hall of Fame
Many businesses are stepping up and providing support to those in need. Here are a few. We need to keep this in mind as we choose to spend our dollars following this crisis.
Schools: Birmingham, Royal Oak and probably others are offering free meals to all children. See your local district internet page.
Amazon: Amazon is adding 100,000 jobs. All warehouses are hiring.
Zoom: remote meeting software temporarily free for all teachers
Microsoft: free E1 licenses for all businesses needing to support remote workers
Many other software companies. https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/software/list-of-free-software-and-services-during-coronavirus-outbreak/?fbclid=IwAR2ku-yAUm1wgvkqIWemztIUDiLIXPlGxcfjIYsqkIIkpPlZLrfJbJfEQg8
Griffin Claw brewery and Valentine distillery are now producing sanitizer full time. If you need some you can pick it up from their locations. They are also shipping to restaurant, stores and medical facilities.
Hall of Shame
I hate that I have to write this but Menards was served a cease and desist order for price gouging on essential supplies. By March 13 the Attorney General of Michigan has already received 75 complaints of price gouging by various businesses. Sad but true.
Michigan residents are urged to report any violation of the Consumer Protection Act online or by calling 877-765-8388. Nessel cautioned consumers after learning that a west Michigan retailer was selling individual face masks – packaged in Ziploc bags – for $10 apiece. Purell for $60. https://www.michigan.gov/documents/ag/Notice_of_Intended_Action_3.11.20_683832_7.pdf Grocery gouging. https://www.michigan.gov/documents/ag/Letter_-_India_Grocers_re_Price_Gouging_3.13.20_683833_7.pdf https://www.michigan.gov/documents/ag/Letter_-_Dearborn_Fresh_re_Price_Gouging_3.13.20_683831_7.pdf
Tips for working from home
Last week Sarah shared with our some of our tips for working from home. We’ll be sending more twice a week through this period. Both from an employee point of view and the manager.
About Harbor Computer Services
Harbor Computer Services is an IT firm servicing Southeastern Michigan. We work exclusively under contract with our clients to provide technology direction and either become the IT department or provide assistance to the internal IT they already have. We have won many awards for our work over the years, including the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year in 2010. We’re the smallest firm to have ever won this most prestigious award. Most recently we were recognized as one of the top 20 visionaries in small business IT by ChannelPro Magazine (2015). And in 2016 as the top Michigan IT firm for Manufacturing. There are a few simple things that make Harbor Computer Services the best choice for your business. •We are Professionals •We are Responsible •We are Concerned About The Success of Your Business