Business Law: Protecting Your Business in a Global Pandemic

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The global pandemic, COVID-19, has changed the way the corporate world operates. Therefore, as emphasized by the Warren business attorney, it is vital to ensure that your business processes change accordingly. 

Ross Chainey, a digital media specialist for the World Economic Forum, discusses Adam Grant’s impressions of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world of work, in his article titled “This is how COVID-19 could change the world of work for good.” 

About 50% of the world’s population is currently under some form of a lockdown or stay-at-home order to stop the rampant spread of the novel coronavirus. The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. And it is the largest global public health emergency since the 1918-1919 Spanish Flu pandemic. 

As with the COVID-19 virus, there was never a universal consensus where the 1918 influenza virus originated, but it spread across the world during 1918 and 1919. And circa 500 million people were infected across the globe with about 50 million deaths.

At the current moment, the latest COVID-19 figures show that there are more than 3.5 million infections with just under 248 thousand deaths. 

The economic impact of the global pandemic

The fiscal impact of this pandemic is severe. McKinsey stated in their report titled, “How to restart national economies during the coronavirus crisis,” that this pandemic is the biggest shock to our lives and livelihoods in the last one hundred years. And, the imperative for global governments is to save lives and protect people’s income generation capacities. 

Many countries have responded to the negative economic impact with “unprecedented levels of both fiscal and monetary stimulus to blunt the economic impact of the crisis.” 

Protecting your business during the pandemic 

However, the question that must be asked and answered is, how do individual business protect their income streams and their ability to function once the lockdown has been lifted? 

Global manufacturing and supply changes and logistics have been disrupted; thereby, causing a product shortage. Consequently, if you were allowed to operate, you would still not have any products to sell. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected your business’s ability to fulfill its contractual obligations. 

Here are a few tips to help you protect your business interests during the pandemic: 

Declare force majeure

According to fastcompany.com, the phrase “force majeure translates literally as superior strength.” And it “refers to unforeseen calamities ranging from natural disasters like hurricanes or avalanches to manmade emergencies, such as labour strikes or wars.”

 Even though the global pandemic caused by a coronavirus is not specifically noted in this description, it is a global emergency that is preventing businesses from fulfilling their contractual agreements; therefore, the provisions in the force majeure definition apply here.

Look after your employees

Succinctly stated, your employees are an essential part of your business plan, post-COVID-19. And they will fulfil essential functions when it is time to restart your business. Therefore, it is a good idea to support your staff throughout these challenging times. As an aside, the US government has set aside $376 billion via the CARES act, which is designed to provide financial relief for US workers and small businesses. Therefore, making it easier to ensure that your staff are paid during the lockdown.