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How Will We Go Back to Work?

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Even as U.S. governors continue to turn off state-level economies, the preliminary discussion about how to properly turn those economies back on — once the coronavirus pandemic subsides — has started.

The business recovery conversation arrives even as various U.S. states mandate non-essential businesses temporarily stop activities and/or shift to work from home. Those steps coupled with big job losses in the Leisure and Hospitality vertical markets could surge U.S. unemployment to 30 percent over the next few weeks, Bloomberg Radio reported today.

Big job losses are expected in New York, where Governor Andrew Cuomo activated a 10-point New York PAUSE plan on March 22. The plan called for all non-essential businesses statewide to close their offices. (These businesses and organizations can remain open in the state.)

Turning State Economies Back On: Potential Steps

Still, Cuomo wants to assure New Yorkers that there will be a plan to turn the economy back on. That effort, known as New York Forward, is in the planning stages and involves multiple considerations.

Among the variables that may have to be weighed, Cuomo indicated today:

  • How do you restart or transition to a restart of the economy — and how do you dovetail that with the public health strategy?
  • As you identify people who have had the virus and have resolved, can they start to go back to work?
  • Can younger people start to go back to work because they’re much more tolerant to the effect of the virus?

Amid those considerations, Cuomo warned that the coronavirus pandemic, related social distancing steps and government mandates to keep people safe may continue for several months. “Nobody can tell you it is four months, six months, eight months, nine months. But it is several months”¬† before the crisis subsides, he said during a press briefing earlier today broadcast by Bloomberg Radio.

Channel Partners Seek Help

Meanwhile, many MSPs and channel partners are now scrambling to get a clearer picture of their own businesses, cash positions and customer health.

For much of the previous business week (March 16-20), partners figured out their own Work From Home strategies, while also shifting customers to remote work setups. Amid those efforts, ChannelE2E called on partners to take these seven steps to protect the viability of theirm businesses and the health of their workers.

Fast forward to present day. Many partners need to spend even more time understanding the financial health of their end-customers; the ability of small business customers to pay for IT services and recurring monthly bills; and whether those IT services businesses can weather an extended pandemic.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has vowed to assist with emergency loans — those some states have been slow to declared emergency zones for those loans.

Technology firms are also taking steps to support their partners. For instance, technology distributor Ingram Micro is temporarily waiving fees with most of its financial programs.

More Federal Help On the Way?

Congress, meanwhile, is working to piece together a rescue package — though a vote on the package failed on Monday. Republicans accused Democrats of trying to add unrelated items to the bill, such as measures favoring renewable energy and unions. Democrats fired back that Republicans were trying to exclude rape-crisis centers from benefiting from a financial-assistance lifeline, The Wall Street Journal reports.

All that said, both sides are still negotiating and there are signs a stimulus plan could arrive by March 24, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) indicated.

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