Your Organization’s Come Back Story

By Tonya Ross,

We can’t scroll our phones, open the newspaper or turn on the T.V. without seeing something coronavirus related.  Too often, it’s not good news.   I have started to wonder what it was like during WWII.  I can’t help but think, they too, felt overwhelmed by the seemingly endless bad news, fighting, and scenes from the front line. However, we know from history that humanity prevailed. There was light at the end of that very dark tunnel.

We may not be turning the corner towards the light just yet, but we will.  Before we can even see the light, as leaders, we must keep our organization moving forward.  We must lead our teams toward that unseen light with a spirit of optimism. As leaders, we are helping our organizations write their own come back story.  How do you want your come back story to read?

The Wayne County Chamber of Commerce wants to help you write the best come back story possible.  To better understand your current and future needs, they recently sent out a survey.  What they learned is your highest need right now is financial resources and what you believe you will need tomorrow is additional personal protective equipment (PPE).  The Wayne County Chamber of Commerce team is working to help provide you the support you need. Assembling a Business Recovery Taskforce, with the help of several community leaders and business owners, movement has already begun to meet these and other needs.

As you may be aware, nationally, OSHA is fielding thousands of workforce complaints.  Over the past few weeks there have been several efforts to help your organization secure workforce protection to ensure your teams feel safe at work.

Additionally, the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce created the Business Guidance and Loan Resources page to serve as a one-stop shop of information.

Protective gear and financial resources are key pieces to larger recovery puzzle.  However, there are other pieces to make the recovery puzzle complete.  To help your organization get back on track, reimagine your business strategy and start thinking of your business model in 2021 and beyond, we have created 3-part article series.

This series has been designed for you and your leadership team to survive in the interim, endure the next 3 to 12 months, and achieve growth in the long term. This 3-part series is for mid-sized to large organizations with fewer resources and less crisis/disaster experience.

If your organization has not adequately responded, start with the first phase of the business continuity plan. This first phase strengthens the response to protecting employees, and customers while reducing liability. Click here to read Phase 1: Response.  In phase 1, Response, we focus on immediate workforce protection by creating a Response Team. This team was responsible for establishing policies and procedures to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19. As a result, the organization should have created guidelines to address social distancing, potentially sick employees, customer interaction and more.

Many of us have moved from response and are now finding our way through recovery.  In the Phase 2: Recovery, we turn the attention to scenario planning for increased cases, struggling economy and more.  It is not just the severe economic impacts that we must navigate, it is the customer behaviors and business model impacts. This requires looking ahead and preparing accordingly. For this process, we will take a page out of the Military’s handbook. To see what your organization should be doing in the Recovery Phase, click here.

It is clear we will not be in the crisis or recovery phase forever.   As leaders, we must be forwarded thinking and preparing our organizations for 2021.   We have to look towards the horizon. That’s why we’ve recreated, Phase 3: Reimagination, in this article outlines how to forecast with confidence even in uncertainty.

We are living in unprecedented times but, together Wayne County can come back stronger than ever.  We are a resilient nation and we are resilient community.  Like with other times of crisis, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Lets all keep marching together, 6-feet apart with masks on and washed hands, towards a better tomorrow.

About the Author – Lauralee Hites

I have more than a decade of experience in managing projects that reduce risk to organizations. Today, I operate a boutique consulting firm that specializes in Strategy and Management Consulting. You can always drop me a line at or call me at 765-914-2847.

You can always follow Stratavize on these social platforms FacebookTwitterInstagram, or LinkedIn @Lauralee Hites and Stratavize’s LinkedIn business page.


Small Business Restart Fund

By Tonya Ross,

Gov. Holcomb approved $30 million in federal funding made available through the CARES Act to small business restart grants, helping accelerate the speed of economic recovery activity by providing working capital to cover certain expenses related to the global pandemic. Eligible Indiana small businesses can seek reimbursement for up to 80% of qualified expenses, such as rent/mortgage payments, utilities, lease payments for real or personal property, and safety investments, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and infrastructure improvements.

Read More 

Business Guidance & Loan Resources

By Tonya Ross,

Below is a list of many resources from the Indiana Chamber, US Chamber, and the IRS. There are also many outlets for assistance locally, check with EDC of Wayne County, the Wayne County Foundation, and Center City Development Corporation. Indiana Chamber offers several business resources-

Small Business Administration offers several business resources-

Coronavirus Funding Options

Guidance for Businesses and Employers

Local Assistance

Join the SBA’s Relief Efforts

SBA Products and Resources

Government Contracting

US Chamber of Commerce-Combating Coronavirus

Our nation and our economy are facing an unprecedented crisis. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is marshalling its full resources to help companies continue to operate and keep paychecks flowing to American workers and families, while mobilizing the business community to combat the pandemic.

Because no family and no business should go bankrupt as a result of the coronavirus.
Jump to: Resources & Guidance | Policy & Advocacy 
Business Community Response | Economic Impact


Help for Small Businesses

CO— Coronavirus Small Business Hub

Delivering the latest resources, advice and information to help small businesses navigate this challenging time, including financial aid guides, remote working tips, best practices, links to webinars and townhalls, and much more. Follow @GrowWithCo for the latest.

The CARES Act allocated $350 billion to help small firms keep workers employed. Called the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans that can be forgiven if borrowers maintain or restore payrolls. Check eligibility, calculate borrowing limits, and apply using this guide.

Guide to Small Business Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)

The CARES Act expanded the SBA’s long-standing Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL), which includes additional loan programs and $10,000 emergency grants. Check eligibility, calculate borrowing limits, and apply using this guide.

NEW: CARES Act Relief for Independent Contractors

If you are an independent contractor or self-employed individual, you may be eligible for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans/grants, SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), and/or Unemployment Compensation for lost income. This guide walks you through all the steps.

National Small Business Town Hall Series

In partnership with Inc. Magazine, CO— is hosting weekly virtual townhalls to help small business owners and sole proprietors navigate financial aid and support programs and answer common questions. Register to attend the next virtual town hall.

IRS: Three new credits are available to many businesses hit by COVID-19

Employee Retention Credit

Paid Sick Leave Credit and Family Leave Credit 


Chamber Chat COVID-19

By Tonya Ross,

Join Melissa Vance, Craig Kinyon, Christine Stinson, Adam/Becky Melton as they discuss COVID-19.  Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce, Wayne County Health Department, Reid Health, and The Cordial Cork. Check out the video on Youtube at: Chamber Chat

Attention Small Business Owners!

By Tonya Ross,

Dear Indiana Small Business Owners,

We know that these are uncertain times. Please know that the Indiana SBDC is here to support small business in any way you need.

President Trump has allocated $50 billion to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. For Hoosiers to gain access to this funding, we need to collect small business economic impact data from every county in Indiana so that Governor Holcomb can declare an economic injury disaster.

We are working diligently to gain access to this funding and would greatly appreciate your help.

If your business has, or you anticipate will, be impacted by COVID-19, please complete this form at your earliest convenience.

Information obtained from this form will only be used to assist in requesting an economic injury disaster declaration from SBA and identifying greatest areas of need.

Please feel reach out to me with any questions or concerns and thank you for your participation.

Peggy Cenova
Regional Director, East Central Indiana SBDC