Across the nation, restaurants and other types of small businesses are taking meaningful action to honor the life of George Floyd and help bring an end to racism and systemic injustice. Their actions have included everything from closing in solidarity with peaceful protestors to donating proceeds to critical organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Black Lives Matter, as well as amplifying the voices of black colleagues and community members. Here are some ways your business can help create a positive impact, along with tips and resources to help to maintain a safe environment for you, your employees, and your community.
5 Ways to Help Right Now
There are numerous ways that you can contribute your time, money, or leadership skills to help end systematic racism, including:
- Sign one more of the many petitions demanding justice for George Floyd, including from the NAACP, Color of Change, and Change.org
- Donate to one or more of the organizations pushing lawmakers to adopt data-driven policy solutions to end police violence and misconduct, including Campaign Zero, the National Police Accountability Project, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- Donate to a local bail fund to help lawful protestors who have been arrested
- Donate to Black Lives Matter (BLM)
- Get involved in your local BLM, or start your own BLM chapter if your town doesn’t have one
Practice Self-Care for Yourself and Your Employees
The civil unrest sparked by the killing of George Floyd on the heels of the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, make this a very tense time for everyone, but particularly so for black Americans, who according to the American Pyschological Association (APA), “feel more negative stereotype threats and more racial profiling when interacting with the police.” The APA urges “those who are experiencing trauma in the aftermath of these tragedies to practice self-care.”
As a business owner, the responsibility falls upon your shoulders to take care of both yourself and your employees. This can be a large burden, so it’s important to educate yourself and create a plan. For more information, see this article from the Harvard Business Review that discusses both why it’s imperative for businesses to take meaningful action against racism and how you can do it.
Take Steps to Eliminate Racism at Your Business
Racist policies and practices are still prevalent in American workplaces, and even when they’re unintentional, they can have an adverse effect on small businesses by scaring off employees and customers. For more information on how to educate yourself and your employees to actively eliminate racism, check out this article from The Society for Human Resource Management, which includes tips on how to create a level playing field and knowing the laws in place to prevent discrimenation.
Know Ahead of Time How to Deal with Vandalism and Looting
While the vast majority of people protesting across the nation are peaceful, there are certainly bad actors who take advantage of the protests to cause damage to buildings and businesses. There are several ways you can be prepared. First, make sure that your business is insured. Most business insurance policies should cover civil disturbances, but check with your insurance provider to confirm your coverage and to determine your deductible as well as any dollar limits on the coverage for your inventory and equipment.
If there are active protests in your area and you’re worried about your business and employees, legal experts recommend several best practices to keep potential looters and vandals out:
- Install security cameras and clear signage so people know they are being videotaped so as to deter illegal activity
- Put physical barriers over windows and doors, such as fences, gates, and shutters, particularly when your business is closed
- Call the police if anyone starts to vandalize or loot your business
- Have a plan in place and train your employees what to do if a crime is committed at your business
- Do NOT harass or threaten people gathered outside your business; do NOT set booby traps; and do NOT attempt to use lethal force in defense of your property—in most cases, these actions are unlawful
- For more information, read this article from FindLaw and/or speak to a legal expert familiar with your local laws and regulations
As a company, SpotOn’s core values include embracing diversity—of culture, of background, of experience, and thought—and the dynamic teamwork it takes to bring new ideas to life. In addition to continuing to support the business operations of our small and medium sized business clients, we stand in solidarity with the black community in the fight against racism and systemic injustice.