As with other businesses, the employees of retailers have to be the first concern. If the employees are not permanently separated from the company, i.e., they are furloughed or otherwise on temporary leave, the HR departments and/or company owners and leaders should talk with them frequently. Retailers need to remind their employees that their health is of the utmost concern.
Overhead, such as business leases are of significant concern. Before contacting landlords and asking for extensions, business leaders should carefully read their leases in an effort to determine if there are any clauses that address situations similar to a pandemic. Business owners and leaders should be cognizant that temporary relief from their lease circumstances are not permanent, and they will have to catch up at some point.
Generally speaking, in pre-COVID-19 days, businesses could give adequate warnings to their customers, which were often deemed sufficient when the risks were obvious. COVID-19 is far more difficult. While it is important to follow the guidelines of the CDC, the WHO and OSHA, ultimately, in court, they will be judged on a reasonable person standard.
Should you desire to discuss these issues, call me at (423) 424-6208. You can also send confidential emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.