Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, business owners across Canada may be required to temporarily close if their business is considered “non-essential.” When temporarily closing a business, there are a variety of things to look out for – such as security, insurance protocol, and employee well-being.

To learn what every business should be mindful of during a temporary closure, TEC Canada recently spoke with Falyn Mae, General Manager of Bookers BBQ & Crab Shack and Waalflower within the Vintage Group in Calgary, Alberta.

The Immediate Checklist

There is a list of primary things to consider when temporarily closing a business. The most important thing to remember during a time of temporary closure? “Don’t assume,” said Falyn. “Put together a checklist and make sure that everyone in your building has access to it. It can be easy to assume that someone else is going to take care of something – like shutting the water valves off – but having a checklist keeps everyone accountable.”

What items should be on the immediate checklist?  Falyn recommends:

  • Test all the doors and ensure they lock. Gather keys from all non-essential employees
  • Close water supply valves
  • Decommission all non-essential equipment that consumes energy
  • Notify the insurance company
  • Communicate the closure to customers

Security

“During a temporary closure, security is a big priority. Unfortunately, some people see this as an opportunity for theft or criminal activity, so I encourage all business owners and managers to stay diligent” said Falyn. “At our Vintage Group restaurant locations, we have remote access to our security cameras and ensure that all activity is being monitored frequently.”

Falyn recommends speaking with your security company about setting up remote access to your security cameras, which can make them accessible through a mobile app – so you can check in on your business anytime, anywhere.

Insurance:

“It’s important to check with your insurance company about what’s required of you during this temporary closure to maintain your coverage. For the stores I manage, it’s required that someone does a routine check of the premises every 48 hours” said Falyn.

In addition to contacting your insurance company, Falyn recommends removing all commonly stolen items from the premises (such as alcohol from a restaurant, or money from an ATM) or ensuring they are locked and out of sight. This will prevent potential theft while your business is unoccupied.

Help Employees Stay Healthy

While your business is prepared to be closed for an undetermined amount of time, relationship building has never been more important. “I love my team and I make sure to keep in contact every few days. I want to encourage communication and I know that staying connected is a powerful tool to keep our team dynamic when the business reopens” said Falyn.

Curious about which businesses are considered non-essential to your specific provincial and territorial government? Visit Canada.ca for the latest information about temporary closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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