So as many in Southeast Texas have learned by the time of this writing, both the City of Beaumont and the various Southeast Texas counties have declared a “Stay At Home Order”. Different jurisdictions appear to be putting these orders in place at different times. If you are curious about when that is and what that means for your specific location, check with the Emergency Management office in your area. What is of immediate concern for businesses and nonprofits is “how do we conduct business to keep our doors open in the long run?” and “are we allowed to do anything?”
As with anything in a disaster, the answer to questions like this is usually “it depends”. One big factor is whether or not your business qualifies as a part of Essential Services or Critical Infrastructure. As a part of SR2 Solutions’ Business Continuity services, we are here to help you navigate these waters using our experience and training. We will provide these services free of charge to any non-profits in the area. Simply contact us at [email protected], and we will work with you.
Many businesses and nonprofits actually do fall under these categories without realizing it. As an example, Financial Services are considered a key part of critical infrastructure. Guidance from Department of Homeland Security – Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (DHS-CISA) states “Workers who are needed to process and maintain systems for processing financial transactions and services (e.g., payment, clearing, and settlement; wholesale funding; insurance services; and capital markets activities).” There are also a number of other businesses and activities in the Information Technology, Communications, Finance Services, Chemical, Energy, Manufacturing, Food and Agriculture, and Transportation sectors that are considered essential.
In the nonprofit sector, a soup kitchen does qualify as Critical Infrastructure since it is providing food to the population. Now this does not mean that a soup kitchen can perform the same actions that they normally do. For example, instead of a dine in option they will need to provide either curbside pickup or delivery services for their customers, just like any other restaraunt.
Bottom line, there are options available for your business or nonprofit to keep operational under a Stay At Home order while keeping both your people and your clients safe. Contact us to learn more.