COVID-19’s Impact on Business: Preparing for What’s Next
We know that in light of current events, this is a scary and uncertain time for everyone. We encourage everyone to stay home and stay safe, and for their friends and family to do the same. Our team here at CITYROW is taking all the necessary precautions to help combat the COVID-19 outbreak.
We have temporarily put our studio classes on hold and are instead offering online bodyweight workout classes for our members so they can maintain their momentum, motivation, and stay on track with their fitness goals during this unexpected hiatus.
After public health and safety, our primary concern is to be here for our members during this difficult time and to provide as much normalcy in their life as possible. We want to make sure that once we are able to open our doors again our members know that they have a safe and welcoming place to return to.
The uncertainty of how long social distancing will be necessary and how long we will be dealing with the impact of the virus is causing a lot of unrest in the franchise community as a whole. Read more about how the franchising industry is fighting to alleviate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses.
Schools are canceled, unemployment is skyrocketing, work from home has become the new normal, travel and tourism is restricted, and states are issuing shelter-in-place orders. It’s an unprecedented response to combat the spread of COVID-19. In the United States, New York City has been hit the hardest. Hospitals are seeing surges of patients and some have devoted themselves exclusively to COVID-19 treatment.
CDC has issued the following recommendations during the outbreak:
What does all this have to do with franchising? According to an NFIB Research Center Survey released March 13, 2020, 55% of small businesses, including franchised businesses, expect to feel a significant impact from the outbreak. They will feel this impact in the form of fewer sales, supply chain disruptions, staffing challenges, increased demands for cleanliness and safety, and forced closures.
Fortunately, there are already plans in place to combat these challenges.
The Senate just passed a $2 trillion stimulus package to include a government lending program and $350 billion for federal small business loans. Currently, self-employed are not eligible for unemployment, but these criteria may be changing soon.
The International Franchise Association, or IFA, is pushing for a $300 billion fund to help franchisees stay afloat during times of closure and uncertainty. Without such help, we could see significant job losses in the franchise sector due to mass closings. The restaurant franchise sector, in particular, is taking a hard hit.
The Families First Coronavirus Relief Act has the potential to benefit small business employees by mandating paid leave. This could be a devastating blow to small businesses if not combined with financial help.
To provide that help to franchisees, IFA is calling for:
- Unsecured business loans to provide businesses with the cash to pay their workers, rent, and other costs during this crisis
- Suspending business return filing and the payment of business taxes to the federal government
- Amending the Tax Code to help small businesses
The U.S. Small Business Administrations also announced $2 million in small business loans with a low-interest rate during these trying times.
Playing Our Part
For our franchisees, our leadership team here at CITYROW is here to help and support you however we can. Business operations might be temporarily interrupted, but what won’t be interrupted is our commitment to our franchisees to find processes that will keep their businesses on track and prepared to make a strong comeback.
Once it is safe to do so, our studios will re-open and we will welcome our members back with open arms. We anticipate much enthusiasm surrounding our re-opening—we know our members are anxious to get back in the studio, see one another, and get moving again. If anything, this crisis has taught us that the power of connection is important and a sense of community is vital for our well-being.
In the meantime, we will be continuing to provide online workouts at no cost for our members.
We continue to value our members and our franchisees alike and we are all in this together. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us—don’t let the fear of this virus hold you back. The spread of the virus is a serious situation and we do not take it lightly, but we know that life must go on afterward and we are planning to make the most of it.
Hear from David Keil, President of Franworth, about how Franworth is helping its partners navigate the coronavirus pandemic.
Our franchise growth is not going to stop as a result of this virus. As businesses begin to re-open and people begin to venture out of their homes, they will be wanting to get back to their lives full force. We are excited to see what the future holds for CITYROW and we hope you are too.
Franchise With Us!
Download our Franchise Lookbook for more information on the CITYROW franchise opportunity. Get in touch with us today to discuss the next steps in opening your own CITYROW Studio!get started
Interested in joining the crew as a franchise partner? Download our Franchise Information Lookbook to get an inside peek at what it’s like to franchise with us!