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Reopening your business: next steps of COVID-19

Reopening Your Business: Next Steps of COVID-19

On April 16, 2020, the White House issued Opening Up America Again, federal guidelines to reopen the U.S. economy through a three-phase approach. State and local governments are also beginning to create their own frameworks to gradually lift stay-at-home orders, with important differences in each locality. Business leaders are now preparing to resume business operations under strict regulations. With employees coming back to work and businesses looking to adjust to the post-COVID conditions, it is time to get your plan in place.

What you need to know to reopen your business

The Opening Up America Again plan is designed to help state and local officials reopen their economies and determine when each non-essential business reopens, public areas reopen and update state orders.

Phase one of the plan is currently starting and has three main criteria:

  1. Symptoms – Downward trajectory of COVID-like and Flu-like symptoms reported within 14 days
  2. The downward trajectory of positive tests within 14 days
  3. Treat all patients without crisis care and robust testing program for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing

During Phase One, employers are recommended to:

  1. Continue to have employees work remotely, whenever possible and feasible with business operations
  2. If possible, return to work in phases instead of all at once.
  3. Close common areas where personnel are likely to congregate and interact or enforce strict social distancing protocols
  4. Minimize non-essential travel and adhere to CDC guidelines regarding isolation following travel
  5. Strongly consider special accommodations for personnel who are members of a vulnerable population

There are specific employer types that have particular guidelines:

  • Schools and organized youth activities (e.g., daycare, camp) that are currently closed should remain closed.
  • Visits to senior living facilities and hospitals should be prohibited. Those who do interact with residents and patients must adhere to strict protocols regarding hygiene.
  • Large venues (e.g., sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship) can operate under strict physical distancing protocols.
  • Elective surgeries can resume, as clinically appropriate, on an outpatient basis at facilities that adhere to CMS guidelines.
  • Gyms can open if they adhere to strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols.
  • Bars should remain closed.

What you need to do when your state starts to reopen

The CDC released guidance to assist employers in deciding to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC and OSHA have several general guidelines in place currently for businesses, be sure these are all in place before your doors open.

You will also need to post the mandatory Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) poster in a visible place. Employees will remain working from home, sent by email or post to company intraweb or employee website.

How to effectively communicate to your returning employees when you reopen your business

Communicate frequently and as transparently as possible with employees:

  • Provide expected timelines for recalling/rehiring employees.
  • Provide returning employees with recall or offer letters.

If employees were laid off or furloughed, have the necessary documentation to return to work. Download the furlough recall letter template here. Make sure you also confirm all payroll aspects are correct. If you outsource your payroll, make them aware that the business will be opening and any payroll changes there may be. It would be best if you also educated employees on reducing the spread of COVID-19 at home and work (follow CDC recommendations).

Each industry is different, and their approach to reopening will be different. These are general terms to consider when reopening your business but are not specific to one industry. We know the urge to get back to work, but taking the necessary steps to continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is increasingly important when you open your doors back up.

About Alliance

For over 30 years, Alliance has worked with the unique needs of our clients to ensure we provide the highest quality solution and service.

Inspired by the American dream of business ownership (and also the need to eat!), Randy and Terri Norwood set up a dot-matrix printer on a folding table in their Houston living room and declared Alliance Payroll Services open for business in September, 1989. Trying to never lose sight of the fact that business should always be fun, Randy incessantly knocked on doors of businesses while Terri keyed, processed and delivered whatever payrolls Randy sold. Fast forward over three decades and, thanks to our hard working team of “Warriors,” Alliance has grown into one of the largest privately-held human capital management (HCM) software providers in the nation.

But many things have not changed. We still try to under-promise and over-deliver our products and services, not the other way around. We keep our pricing transparent and simple. We refer to our clients around the nation as our partners and friends. And we still think business should be fun!

Alliance HCM delivers advanced technology to streamline all of your Human Capital Management needs in one powerful, intuitive online system.

Talent Acquisition​

Deliver the best employees to your team.

Time Management​

Increase efficiency and profitability.

Payroll & Tax​

Streamlined payroll processing.

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Human Resources​

A complete Human Resources solution.


Easily plan and administer benefits.

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