The Ultimate COVID-19 #ConnectorsWhoCare Survival Kit - First Edition

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No one could have ever predicted the situation we are all in right now. We need to stick together more than ever. Helping others is what The O'Connor Group does, and we have created a weekly #ConnectorsWhoCare Survival Kit. It’s a work in progress, but it’s here to help you and your loved ones during this crazy time we are living in. We also want to hear from YOU – and please feel free to share ideas, thoughts, suggestions, and most importantly HOPE. We will work to include them in our weekly kits.

Our employees, clients and friends are our greatest focus. We are here for you during these challenging times of COVID-19, as we have been in the past, present and will be in the future. Over the next few weeks we will continue to do our best to also help our clients and friends with their respective businesses – more than ever we need to support each other.

We WILL get through this!


Tip #1: Layoff Information

Like our business, many of our clients are business owners and working diligently to keep their employees. Some have not been so lucky, and it can be overwhelming to understand the difference between a furlough and a layoff. And if you have a layoff, what then? Our team has put together a wonderful document that will help walk you through these situations. We will also be joining Raymond Lee, the CEO of Careerminds and Emily Shoda, an employment law attorney, on Thursday, March 26, at 2PM EST for a free webinar on the Best Practices to Implementing a Furlough in 2020. Register here!


Tip #2: Benefits - What is covered?

Our friends at Birch Benefits had a webinar this week that described what medical services are provided by the four local carriers. This will be helpful to understand what is covered regarding your insurance coverage. Contact them for more information!

Tip #3: Form I9 Temporary Changes for New Hire

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will defer the requirement for employers to review, in person, Form I-9 documents. The change applies only to those employers that have instituted remote work. The physical documentation review requirements will not be excused if any employees are physically present at a work location.


Tip #4: Keep Taking the Pulse of Your Employees

This might be your first time working or managing a team remotely. Stay true to the culture you’ve built and take care of the people that are working so hard on keeping your business going. Start your day off with a morning 15-minute Virtual Coffee Chat with your team to set them up for a successful day. Or, end the week with our favorite…Virtual Happy Hour! As leaders, we need to make sure we check in with our team as much as possible.


Tip #5: Supporting the Community and Other Small Business Owners

Now more than ever, sticking together is essential. Supporting small local businesses is a great way to give back, in addition to practicing social distancing (we love you, but in a 6 feet away type of love 😊) Our friend Lori Gildea, Founder of The Pure Bag must have seen this crisis coming! She created an antimicrobial bag that is germ resistant. Stylish and clean? Yes please!


Tip #6: Businesses Need Money

Yes, we know! The government is working to obtain loans for us, but to be honest, we all need cash right now. Our good friend, Ami Kassar, has been helping so many business owners navigate the waters around SBA Loans. He is putting out a webinars to help – so, click here to sign up!


Tip #7: FOOD!

There are so many small restaurants that are being creative to keep their employees working. If you can, consider carry out. There are great deals right now! For example, did you know the Reading Terminal Market has delivery? Just click here for more information! Don’t forget that many of our stores have delivery too – and they all have apps! Instacart is an option that will deliver to your home or to a home of a loved one.


Tip #8: Jobs in the Area

We know many of you are looking for jobs and we are putting this resource together to spread the word of open positions in the area.

Here are several sources to help you find jobs in your area:

  1. Indeed
  2. Our LinkedIn Page
  3. Former CHRO at Google, Lars – has a great resource that is being updated daily – it’s called Coronavirus Resources – it’s really good!


Tip #9: Quarentine Bordem

Missing parties and social engagements? Netflix party is our type of party! Netflix Party is a Chrome extension for watching Netflix remotely with friends…Let the laughs and commentary begin!


Tip #10: We Need to Stick Together

There are several organizations in the area that will be helpful to you. We are doing several web conferences each week and I can tell you personally, they are also a source of great therapy! Here are just a few:

  1. Entrepreneurs Organization
  2. Goldman Sachs 10KSB
  3. PIDC Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation




Join us every Thursday afternoon for Ask HR Office Hours! Our experts will be hosting a live Q&A for all of your unanswered HR questions. The first one will take place this Thursday, March 26 at 1:30PM EST. Use our Zoom Link to join!


Until next week...Keep washing your hands...exhibity social distancing...and, please stay well. We WILL get through this together!


Need help navigating the crisis? Let's Chat!