How Can Disability Owned Businesses Survive & Thrive During & After the COVID-19?

Disability owned businesses are vital​ to the Bay Area and Northern California communities. We​ must continue to strategize, stay engaged and connected to ALL resources and partners. Historically disability owned businesses are creative and stay agile to the changing environment and economy. During the COVID-19 pandemic shelter in place, businesses locally have adapted to their environment to insure supplies and provisions are available.

1. Continue to improvise and adjust to your environment:

  • Stay nimble- Is there something else you can offer your clientele OR service delivery in a different way? A few examples of what businesses in the Bay Area are doing:

    -Seven Stills pivoted from making whiskey and beer to hand sanitizer:

    -Mozzeria Pizzeria is doing take out and delivery:

    -HumanMade is making masks on their 3D printers:

    -AbilityHacks is moving their innovative meetups to an online format for the time being to keep their community connected and innovations

The San Francisco Disability Business Alliance (SFDBA) is willing to consult with businesses owned by individuals with disabilities to insure that they are financially solvent and considering all options.

2. Evaluate business strategy and reshape strategy to insure continuity:

  • Assess cash flow, financial risks, distribution, overhead and supply chain
  • What operational risks need to be cut or adjusted?
  • Stay attuned to suppliers and consider alternate suppliers if need be
  • Consider minimum operating requirements
  • Consider alternate sources of capital, debt refinancing or additional credit support from banks or government entities, curtail unnecessary spending

Communication with all stakeholders and transparency is essential to insure flow of business and expectations from all involved. Stay engaged with all stakeholders to insure fluid delivery of goods and services and keeping the business solvent.

3. Communicate with relevant stakeholders and stay engaged with your community:

  • Keep customers apprised of adaptations or modified schedules/delivery of goods and services
  • Communicate changes and resources to employees and allow flexible work schedule and working from home if possible
  • Discuss terms of loans with creditors & investors
  • Stay in touch with suppliers regarding delivery of goods and services

The SFDBA can provide advocacy to assist with connection to resources. Systems navigation can be challenging and isn’t always intuitive. The SFDBI can consult with businesses to make sure they are finding the right resources for their businesses’ needs.

4. What resources are available to help support your business or employees?

Build resilience now to be prepared for the new normal

  • Take action and develop your strategies now to determine how you will flex with the changing times
  • Review your business plan- How can you change course to make sure that you are heading the right direction?

Now is the time to prepare for the ‘new normal’. If we all stay nimble and think outside the box we will be more equipped and ready for the changes ahead. The COVID-19 pandemic will increase our humility and sense of humanity. It will also increase our ability to improvise and adjust to circumstances that are sometimes beyond our control. Stay positive, stay safe and stay connected to your resources and guideposts to weather the storm.

SFDBA contact Information:

Peter C.DeHaas
Peter C. DeHaas
Founder & Executive Director
San Francisco Disability Business Alliance (SFDBA)

Services Offered:

  • Annual Membership to SFDBA with access to networking & educational events
  • Assisting business owners with finding the right resources for their small business needs
  • Provide business advising and peer to peer mentorship
  • Assist disability-owned businesses to pursue preferential business certifications