If you are a local business of any kind during the COVID-19 pandemic, you likely have a lot of questions regarding both your safety and your financials.
Being a part of a moving company during these times is an especially unique situation. Going into a new home inherently brings up concerns about health safety for both the crew and the customer.
With safety at the forefront, here are some answers to questions about moving during COVID-19.
Are moving companies allowed to stay in operation during the pandemic?
Yes. Thus far, moving companies have remained legally operational. This is largely due to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) both listing “Transportation” as an “essential service”. Essential services are defined by WHO as ” the services and functions that are absolutely necessary, even during a pandemic”.
Additionally, there is currently no federal directive or standard on what essential services legally are, or which businesses must stay or can stay in operation.
If you are a local moving business, look to your county’s governing body, as well as your state-wide governing body to determine your legal operating status.
I can’t afford to keep my moving company going during the pandemic!
Many small businesses are suffering, even essential businesses. Due to financial or health reasons (or both), Americans are making the choice to not hire moving companies unless absolutely necessary. This is financially ailing many local movers across the country – you are not alone.
There are, however, at least some resources to explore.
The government has offered a federal business interruption loan program for small businesses.
The US Small Business Administration is offering disaster relief loans for up to $2 million with a fixed interest rate of 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits.
On top of their typical offerings, Congress has recently passed a $2 trillion stimulus package, which in addition to their normal small business loan program would provide qualifying small businesses items like payroll tax relief and direct compensation to private citizens.
Small businesses — those with 500 employees or fewer — would receive $367 billion in emergency funding. Firms would be encouraged to maintain payroll, and operating costs could be forgiven if participating companies met specific requirements.
For more information on how this can help your moving company, the toll free-number is 1-800-659-2955, or you can email them at email@example.com.
Read what moving companies are reporting about job cancellations during COVID-19.
How can I still get hired to move people during COVID-19 pandemic?
It is imperative that if you do continue to stay in operation that, beyond a heightened safety regiment, you make smart marketing decisions. You want to keep potential but wary customers ready to hire you.
We recommend front-loading your new safety policies on any marketing material you currently run. Let people know you are there for them during the COVID-19 outbreak so that there is no question that your business is fully operational.
Update your HireAHelper profile with pictures of your crew wearing safety gloves and face coverings, as well as info on your profile and website with pertinent info, such as safety expectations, worker policies, and new business hours.
And of course, stay sanitary and safe. If you feel your potential HireAHelper move might put your crew at risk, HireAHelper is waiving all COVID-19 related cancellation fees or “no-show” risks at this time.
Should people be moving during COVID-19?
Ideally, non-essential relocation should not occur during a pandemic.
Of course, the reason why anyone would move during the pandemic is typically economic: your lease is due, you can’t afford to pay your mortgage or rent, or you run a moving company and need to maintain your payroll.
To date, there are no federal-wide mandates on eviction or rent collection stoppages in an effort to maintain safety, though there are some states that have enacted partial or fully housing-related collection stoppages.
Here is an updating list of states with their latest eviction-enforcing laws. As of today’s update (3/30/2020) here are the states that do and don’t have a mandate delaying evictions:
|State||Evictions Paused?||State||Evictions Paused?|
How do I keep my workers and customers safe?
In case you haven’t heard, social distancing and soap and water are key to preventing the spread of the virus. Being aware of space and cleanliness is key in any situation where you are interacting with a customer’s living space.
There are multiple ways as a moving company that you can participate in social distancing, including doing any assessments over the phone or online, keeping up-to-date with clients with the health of your crew the morning of the moving date, and asking for a well ventilated, cleared space to work in.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations for workplaces include these things:
- Maintain six feet of distance between people at all times
- Wear protective gloves and face coverings
- Open windows and doors to create circulation
- Avoiding stirring up dust when possible
- Do not shake dirty laundry
- Use diluted, unexpired, household bleach solutions on surfaces you will frequently use
- Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds at a time
If you have any questions about HireAHelper’s COVID-19 policies, click here.
Updated 3/30/2020 with most recent data on States mandating delayed evictions.
To read HireAHelper’s policy updates during the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.