How manufacturers can navigate the flood of messages and operate in these uncertain times.
Governor Wolf has allowed manufacturers to continue operating here in Pennsylvania, which is a relief as many of us are integral parts of supply chains around the world. Here at Electro Soft, we have been practicing “social distancing” and smart cleaning measures around high-touch areas of the business. My company, in particular, has not yet had a disruption in supply from our distributors, so we are able to continue manufacturing electronics assemblies for our industrial and military clients.
What I have found as a new owner is the overwhelming flood of inbound messages and information from multiple sources. Every company has emailed a letter detailing their position on the virus and what they are doing, all in an effort to reassure its stakeholders. Every email and social media post emphasizes washing one’s hands. There is a race to provide thought leadership, yet not one person has been able to fully comprehend what we are going through and how best to move forward.
I remember reading a quote from Mr. Rogers that spoke to the fact that as a boy when everything around him seemed scary his mother told him to, “look for the helpers.” And that is what I thought I would do. Below, I have distilled a list of organizations that I feel have truly been helpers during this scary time of uncertainty. I hope they will be of use to you.
GET THE FACTS
There is a lot of misinformation being spread. I found it best to go to solid sources for facts, not conjecture.
Montgomery County Business Resource
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO)
CREATE A PLAN
CONNECT WITH INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS
In my immediate area, I am associated with my county’s workforce development board as well as manufacturing industry professionals. We have been consistently sharing information and ideas since the pandemic started.
Southeastern Pennsylvania Manufacturing Alliance (SEPMA)
Manufacturing Alliance of Bucks and Montgomery Counties – I reached out to my fellow manufacturers to find temporary help to handle our new surge in business. Within 24-hours I had a highly-qualified, highly-recommended employee.
Philadelphia COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund
IRS Tax Relief
Industrial Development Authority – Below-market interest rate loans
Facebook Grant – Not many details at this time. May be for other types of businesses.
If you know of any others, please let us know. I will do my best to update as the list of helpers grows.