Resources For Comics Industry Businesses Impacted By Coronavirus

March 19, 2020
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The Coronavirus crisis impacts all of us. To help support the comics business community that makes our mission possible, we’ve assembled this clearinghouse resource for financial aid, training tools, and other information. We’re continuing to monitor the situation surrounding the outbreak and will provide updates and resources for retailers here on an ongoing basis. If you see something we haven’t listed yet, please let us know by emailing info@cbldf.org. For updates on other Comics Businesses around the United States and the world, check out CBLDF’s Retailer Spotlight on COVID-19.

We’re going to get through this, together.

Immediate Steps to Take During the COVID-19 Outbreak

  • ​Contact your landlord and ask for rent relief. This resource from the American Booksellers Association maps out best practices for considering and making your ask. Here is a CNBC article with additional advice.
  • Most public utilities, phone and internet companies, are providing deferred billing and other measures to support communities during the crisis. This USA Today article outlines what major companies are doing. Find out what your providers are doing and factor that into your expense management strategy.
  • Promote your e-commerce site. Offer free or inexpensive shipping, home delivery, or curb-side pickup to encourage shopping on your site.
    • CBLDF is promoting the efforts of our retailer members here. Please share your information with us, and we’ll amplify your message. Email: siena.fallon@cbldf.org to add your update to our resource.
  • If you don’t have an e-commerce site, there are several options to set one up quickly. ComicHub has waived its installation fee and reduced its cost for CBLDF and ComicsPRO members. American Booksellers Association offers an e-commerce platform for its members that is available free through May 31 that will get you up and running within a few days. Alternatively, bookstores can sign up as an affiliate and sell through Bookshop.
  • Lobby your local government officials for loans, grants, and other support for small businesses; as a guide, see how San Francisco and New York City are offering support. We’ve assembled a state by state list of financial aid resources below. Please use that as a starting point and check your local city or town websites for information. Please notify us of any resources you find that we haven’t listed by emailing info@cbldf.org.
  • Notify your sales reps if your store is closed and not accepting inventory.

Opportunities for Financial Assistance and Other Resources

This list is a work-in-progress aggregating national, state, and local resources providing aid for small businesses, including comics retailers. Some aid may also be applicable for other businesses including publishers and creators, depending on each individual agency’s requirements.

The best resources we’ve found so far are from SBDC Michigan and Greater Portland, who provide information, webinars, and tools applicable to all businesses managing the crisis. Check those out in addition to your state and city resources for ideas that may help you weather the crisis better.

Wherever possible, this list links to resources providing specific forms or procedures for applying for financial assistance, not announcements or public health resources. Please email us with any new resources you find – info@cbldf.org

National Programs

State Programs

Private Funding

Assistance & Statements from Banking Institutions:

Leadership Resources

We’re all facing new challenges and learning how to manage them in real time. This section gathers resources like webinars, explainers, and presentations to provide business leadership tips, ideas, best practices and information that can be applied by comics industry businesses during the crisis. Please share any good tools you find and we’ll add them to this section.

Business Survival Tips During A Pandemic
This Business Oregon resource by Tom Schnell offers excellent guidance for crisis planning, including cash flow, insurance, and staffing, with additional resource links. A must read for all businesses.

Lead Your Business Through the Coronavirus Crisis 
This Harvard Business Review article provides best practice fundamentals for all businesses weathering the crisis.

Tough Times Demand Smart Actions
This article from the American Booksellers Association provides fundamentals for reducing expenses and managing challenges during a crisis.

SDBC Michigan Crisis Management Webinars
These webinars provide guidance around common hurdles affecting businesses during the crisis.

Covid-19: Implications For Business
This report by McKinsey & Company analyzes the near and long-term macro impacts of coronavirus on the business climate.
National Federation of Independent Businesses
Useful reports, studies, and webinars providing guidance for independent businesses to respond to the crisis.

Resources For Retailers

General information about the outbreak:

What can independent businesses do to prevent the spread of the coronavirus? (Courtesy of the American Independent Business Alliance and American Booksellers Association)

Businesses, government agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations can adopt specific practices to help prevent the spread of this virus:

  • Move from doing deep cleaning to performing deep disinfecting every night and during the day in restrooms, kitchens, and other surfaces where people may have placed their hands, sneezed, or coughed.
  • Make hand sanitizer bottles available at key locations, including welcome or check-in desks, cash registers and counters, food pick-up stations, and doors and entryways.
  • Ask users of items such as shopping baskets, cardio equipment, customer-operated machinery, etc. to use sanitizing wipes on handles and interfaces before using them.
  • Encourage and support employees to stay home if they have flu-like symptoms of coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath, or a fever, and request that customers do the same.
  • Actively encourage employees, customers, and others to adopt all of the anti-virus hygiene habits—including washing hands, not touching your face, covering your mouth when sneezing or couching, staying home if you have flu-like symptoms, and staying six feet away from someone with such symptoms. This may include training staff on methods to avoid spreading communicable diseases and posting materials such as the CDC poster “Stop the Spread of Germs” to promote healthy habits.
  • Keep abreast of current developments and inform customers, staff, and community of locally relevant news and public health recommendations.

Grateful acknowledgment is made to Dave Grogan at American Booksellers Association who provided some of the information in this resource.

 

For updates on other Comics Businesses around the United States and the world, check out CBLDF’s Retailer Spotlight on Covid – 19