More than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment since March 14th, and hundreds of thousands of restaurants, retail, and other businesses have temporarily closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the economic turmoil that the virus has caused the United States government has passed multiple rounds of emergency relief funding to help stabilize small businesses and support the unemployed. The initial $377 billion small business loan package was rapidly depleted, and a second injection of cash has been allocated for the paycheck protection program. Zpryme sat down with Matt Roling, the Director of Business Innovation at Wayne State University, to discuss how small businesses can respond to the crisis.

Part I: Response and Business Landscape
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARE Act) had multiple provisions to support health care workers, large corporations, unemployment, and small businesses. Matt Roling breaks down the specific federal government and banking response to the crisis.

Part II: Steps Small Businesses Should Take
The magnitude of businesses impacted by COVID-19 continues to increase daily. Nearly every company is wondering, “when this will be over?” and “what will business look like when we are through this?” Matt discusses the mindset of a small business owner and the steps that they can be taking to survive these difficult times.

Part III. Equity
The pandemic and the economic response is affecting everyone, but it is not affecting every community equally. Zpryme and Matt Roling discuss what extra steps society should be taking to support minority-owned businesses, and what organizations are doing to be supportive.

Part IV. Innovation
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, innovators are jumping in to help. Around the world, beermakers and distilleries have shifted production to hand sanitizers. In Italy, a start-up engineering company began quickly using 3D printers to create the valves used in ventilators. Those just-in-time valves are saving lives. However, there is more than a desire to help in a time of crisis that leads to innovation. Emergencies present us with unique conditions that allow innovators to think and move more freely to create rapid, impactful change. Matt and Chris discuss how companies can be innovative.

Part V. A look to the Future
While the pandemic and the economic fallout are deeply concerning, it is essential to remember that we have agency. Matt and Chris discuss a path forward for small businesses during the crisis and beyond.