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April 6, 2020 update
is reporting over 1.3 million (1,331,032) GLOBAL cases, over 74,000 (74,169) worldwide deaths and over 275,000 (275,851) recovered patients.
In the US we are reporting over 360,000 (362,759) US cases and 10,524 deaths as of 3:18pm PST April 6.
US SOCIAL DISTANCING
90% of Americans are under orders to to stay home or advised to stay home. It's the strategy still considered the most critical against the spread of coronavirus in this country and one that depends on the full cooperation of hundreds of millions of people.
On Friday, as you may remember, the US CDC updated
guidance regarding the use of masks
. The CDC now “recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.” The new guidance is based on the current understanding that individuals with no symptoms or mild symptoms can transmit coronavirus to others, so wearing a mask could reduce that risk.
In economic news, stimulus checks will begin going out in two weeks according to the US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.
Paycheck Protection Program:
Many banks and community lenders were not prepared on Friday to begin taking applications. But according to government reports, it was
that were accepting and approving applications on Friday.
Wells Fargo has already stopped taking applications. They will review all interest submitted by customers via their online form through Sunday April 5 and provide them with updates in the coming days - but they are not accepting additional applications.
Bank of America said it was only accepting applications from businesses that had both a small business checking account with the bank, as well as some prior lending relationship.
U.S. Bank appeared to be the only major lender that said it would accept applications from businesses that weren't already customers. Even then, the company said clients would get priority and that it would only make loans in the bank's existing markets around the U.S. That means many small businesses that had not taken out loans in the past would at least initially have problems getting money through the program.
Despite record applications, $4.3 billion in loans — or just 1.1% of the funds available under the $359 billion program — had been approved as of Friday evening, according to a tweet from the
April 6 Topic: 3 key things home service businesses still thriving are doing right now that you should be too
Offer to help friends and family who have a heavier mix of commercial work as a subcontractor
Look for new commercial accounts you can go after but be mindful that schools and medical buildings have cut back
If doing new construction projects, getting things done ahead of schedule can come with incentives, so anyway you can contribute more skills or sub-work out to friends and family can put you in a good spot with the developer for future projects
Cashless Touchless Environment
If you haven't already, you need to go cashless and touchless to protect yourself and your employees as well as your customers. Send invoices via text or email and let customers pay online.
Offer virtual estimates or diagnostics and advertise that you offer this on social media, ony our website, send postcards, or emails to let them know
Train all employees to perform all tasks or jobs in your business so that there is no delay to get to your customers
If you serve multiple industries, cross train your employees so that they can perform 50-60% in another industry
Gives you more flexibility both during this time and down the road
Send people in pairs so that they can learn from one-another. Especially for sales and installers - build appreciation and bridge any disconnects between them and help them be on the same page
Offer your customers a way to finance
Gives customer breathing room and flexibility
Gives you a tool to talk to your customers about and another value proposition that you can offer them
Look at financing for jobs that are even smaller value because this can help your customer
Customers are used to paying for things in small monthly payments. Think of Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon, and now things like grocery or food delivery
Advertise on your website that you offer financing
Customers are looking for this when they look for you online
Factor the dealer fees into your prices
Put yourself in the mind of your customer
If you use Housecall Pro take new photos of your employees wearing masks and gloves and upload these as their employee photos
When your customer receives the text notifications they will see your employee protected and feel more at ease
Additional Tips for home service companies in the time of Coronavirus:
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Housecall Pro is offering the Coronavirus Evening Update for Home Service Businesses for informational purposes only and to foster thoughtful communication and discussion regarding the COVID-19 pandemic; Housecall Pro is not offering advisory services or otherwise advising or representing any members of the group invited to participate. Housecall Pro is not offering legal, medical or other professional advice in the Coronavirus Evening Update and makes no representations or warranties regarding the content of the Coronavirus Evening Update. Participants should obtain independent advice relating to their businesses and their particular circumstances.