How U.S. Business Owners Are Responding to the Covid Variant

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Business owners are in a unique position during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the virus claims thousands of lives per day, they need to weigh decisions about public health and public interest. They need to decide if a COVID variant will force them to close up shop or gamble with people’s lives.

They are looking for guidance anywhere they can find it, and the government offers a glimpse into what they should do. They created the Employee Retention Credit so workers can stay employed even if businesses lose money.

There are tons of other programs to take advantage of, and other kinds of techniques to keep companies afloat. Keep reading below to learn more about how businesses are responding to new COVID variants.

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As The Holidays Approach So Is a COVID Variant

Normally, the holiday season is basically a blank check for companies across the world. It’s usually a time when people fill stores and eagerly line up to spend money. Right after Thanksgiving is when most holiday spending picks up, and when most businesses see massive profits.

But the holidays are also a time when people travel a lot, and the more people travel then the more COVID-19 spreads. Cases are already starting to rise in the northern U.S., where most industries are located. As time goes on, the situation may worsen once more.

This time, health leaders and businesses will need to contend with new COVID variants. The Delta variant is far more contagious than the Alpha version of COVID-19. Worse, many people’s initial immunity may be wearing away from their first doses of the vaccine.

The relationship between COVID and businesses is simple — as cases rise, revenue can slow. So, they need to prepare for a potential spike in cases over the holidays.

When the Pandemic Began, Companies Had to Stop Business

COVID-19 is a dangerous virus that can severely harm. Once a person is diagnosed with it, it’s fair to assume everyone in their office had it too. And if their company is a retailer or a grocery store, customers were exposed as well.

This realization led businesses to close up shop and the whole economy slowed. To prevent businesses from failing though, the U.S. passed new ways for companies to protect themselves. These gave businesses money through their taxes so they could keep running through the pandemic.

Some of the new credits and deductions are listed below:

  • The Employee Retention Credit: Meant to help companies keep workers hired so they continue production despite losing money.
  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Gave businesses with fewer than 500 employees money so their employees could have paid leave.
  • Advance Child Tax Credit: Gives families money so they could make ends meet if losing their jobs due to the pandemic.

There are tons of other programs and tax credits people can take advantage of due to COVID-19. If you were or your business was impacted by the pandemic at all, you may be eligible for financial compensation.

The Pandemic Has Far-Reaching Impact

COVID-19 did not just cause businesses to shutter because of rising cases. It also led to political, social, and economic changes that the world is still struggling to understand. Because of COVID-19, businesses are dealing with a whole new range of problems.

Many are struggling to find the supplies that may have been easy to find before. Grocery stores are starting to struggle to fill their shelves, and manufacturers are searching for raw materials. There are many reasons for this new challenge to fulfill the basic needs of businesses.

One of the most startling is the death count due to COVID-19. So many people have died because of the coronavirus that there are simply not enough workers to keep things going. That also doesn’t include the people left hospitalized by long-haul COVID.

This is one of the reasons that online industries have fared better than traditional industries. If you do business online, then it is easier to hire work remotely. It is also easier for workers to write off work-related expenses on their taxes since they need internet access and a computer to do their jobs.

One of the biggest changes as a result of the pandemic is the movement to remote work. But another involves changes in how people get products.

Supply Chain Infrastructure is Collapsing

The holidays are approaching, and normally people would be spending their money to find gifts for loved ones. Last year, fewer people went out shopping because of COVID. There was not much certainty of the future, and heading outside was a gamble with their health.

But now, people are not spending much for other reasons — supply issues. A lack of raw materials has led manufacturers to produce fewer products. So, retailers can’t sell as many cars, electronics, or even groceries as they usually would.

Ports are filling up faster, while shipping containers are being unloaded slower due to a shortage of workers. Truckers are also in high demand, so shipments can at least travel domestically. And there are rumors that the government may incentivize this kind of work soon.

How Are Businesses Responding to the Delta Variant?

The COVID-19 variant is leading to a whole new kind of COVID response. In the past, health officials and politicians took the lead on how to lower cases and keep people safe. Health departments were able to mobilize while governments were able to get equipment where it was needed.

Now, that kind of response is lacking and individuals are having to take matters into their own hands. Businesses are leading the charge to keep people safe. In fact, companies that require vaccinations and masks are seeing good revenue outlooks. 

They are being favored by the market because they keep people in the market safe. They are also acting smartly, taking advantage of the ERC and finding ways to stay in business.

Companies that try to do things like they were before the pandemic are starting to struggle, though. They are losing workers, and they are therefore losing quality. In the end, they will lose business.

New COVID Variants Lead to More Challenges

The new COVID variant has led to a whole new host of issues that communities need to deal with. Leaders across the U.S. claimed that the pandemic was over with the end of the first wave. But that simply is not true, and it still plays a significant part in people’s lives. 

Businesses are having to take advantage of tax credits and government programs to stay afloat. Luckily, there are people who can connect them with those programs, like the ERC. Just reach out to us, and we will help your company get what it needs to keep serving its community.

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More Great Information For Employers:

When President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law, the Employee Retention Credit was not eliminated. Eligible businesses can still apply for stimulus funds based on financials between 3/13/2020 – 9/30/2021.