Pandemic Resources, Opportunities, and Recommendations for Businesses

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

As we come across links to helpful information for small businesses, we post it here.

If regulatory links is what you need, check out more in our Resource Hub

Brick and Mortar is compiling links as a resource to local and regional businesses. It is our mission to help small businesses succeed in this constantly changing time.

To keep informed of new resources added to this list and new guides and resources added to the website, Subscribe or fill out our Contact Form. If you would like to share resources and recommendations not listed here, help us keep this list robust by filling out the Contact Form and sharing resources. Thank you for all that you do for our community! We are all in this together!

Not to Miss

The City of Duluth is waiving fees for businesses to use the sidewalk and parking areas for Social Distancing and Curbside Delivery. Also for Sign Permits. Applying for each Permit is still required. Information on Outdoor and Expanded Alcohol Service can be found here as well. Visit the Outside Your Front Door page of the City's website. The City is more flexible and ready to help than ever - be creative and reach out to planning with questions

MN Dept of Health Social Media Toolkit

Worth a Read

EY: Building a better working world, a company that works with a sizes of businesses solving their pressing issues and they share the insights in articles. Check them out and get inspired.


Minnesota Retailers Association has great resources, signs to print, summarized best practices, webinars and more

Retail Doctor Bob Phibbs. Contact:

Takes questions on his Facebook on Saturdays and addresses them live Sunday mornings Free course link: Reopening Retail and Rebuilding Trust

Article: 10 Reasons to be Optimistic about Retail after COVID-19

Retail Prophet Doug Stevens

Blog posts, Podcast, hosting live Webinars

Article: To Save Retail, Let It Die (09 05 2017) This one is a bit spooky in its accuracy

ReOpening Safely: Strategies for Safer Retail Stores created by the American Institute of Architects

Restaurants and Bars

AIA MN is mobilizing architects to provide one-hour consultation services to restaurants, bars, and food service establishments, on a first come basis

Architects Association (AIA) has posted example social distancing layouts for .pdf download

Support multiple Northland restaurants at once by visiting Strong Northland

The online food ordering system, under Google. Per order fee waived until July 1st


Eden, a workplace platform available the largest metro areas, has created a Tactical 12 Point Plan for Workplace Reentry. There are great tips here for all businesses. 35 page .pdf

ReOpening Safely: Strategies for Safer Offices created by the American Institute of Architects

What's Going on Locally

Know which of your favorite Lincoln Park Businesses are open and when

Share with the City of Duluth your thoughts on what they can do to allow for easier commerce during COVID-19?

Target Corporate offers no-touch thermometers at wholesale cost for Minnesota businesses Duluth Chamber of Commerce (DACC) Business Resources for Coronavirus

Funding, Education, Counseling, Community Updates, and more - keep scrolling

Worth a Listen

Entrepreneur Fund webinar series. Check out webinars you missed and sign up for upcoming sessions. Great information

U.S. Chamber of Commerce (CO)

recorded webinars with national expert

stories of small businesses and how they are adapting

Three Trend Forecasters on the Business World After Coronavirus MN Chamber of Commerce Recorded webinars by various industry experts

Examples, Templates, Signs, and Tools

MN Dept of Health Social Media Toolkit

The City of Baltimore combined inspirational outdoor spaces designed by professionals, check out their Ideas Guidebook

Center for Disease Control Print Resources free printable signage

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Customizable Flyer describing the actions you are taking

Downloadable Social Media Graphics to share key messages

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Suggested Prevention Best Practices and Checklist

MN Supplier Match connecting businesses around the state to PPE

MN Chamber is offering One-on-One Assistance on best practices and will connect you to resources and service partners to fit your needs

American Institute of Architects (AIA) issued a Re-occupancy Assessment Tool (v1.0 05 06 2020)

Risk Management Plan for Buildings

Target Corporate has released their SAFE Retail Considerations for Retail Operations Post COVID-19. This pdf includes their Social Distance Playbook, a few printable unbranded signs

Target Corporate Coronavirus Hub for customers: protocols and faqs

Associated General Contractors of Minnesota (AGC). They have their Preparedness Business Plan available in Word Doc form for download with resources linked. Also a resource for protocols if you have projects under construction

Connect with your Customer

Your number one concern must be the safety of your employees and customers and giving them a sense of ease - with your protocols and communication

Refresh your website and keep marketing! If you don't have a way to sell online, get on it!

Connect with your customer through video. Show the customer your store, products, the new experience with purchasing your goods and services, cleaning and safety protocols. Make it clear and easy for the customer to understand if you are open and how they can reach you, safely. Consider going live on Facebook or Instagram or check out an app like BombBomb. Click on the underlined links for how-to instructions.

Set up a free YouTube channel for your business. Video is prioritized by Google in searches, also people are more likely to watch a video, than text or image you share of the same information.

Clean, Sort, Refresh the look and feel of your Store and Inventory. Clean, remove clutter, sort through your inventory. Look into how your inventory has performed in the past and during the pandemic

Storefront Windows are still an important way to reach your customer. Update your display, message, and think about refreshing lighting. Elements of Storefront Design explained

Technology and Applications

Be sure your Google My Business Listing is up to date. Update your temporary hours or other updates you have. There is also an app to keep track on the go

Update your business listing on Yelp and Trip Advisor, especially for businesses hoping to reach tourists

Visual Searches are on the rise. List your products by photos. Be sure to label/rename the photo file with a description (alt text) so the google bots can accurately associate for searches. See Google Lens, the new way to search for what you want

Google for Small Business. They are offering free ad credits, for businesses already advertising through google. Free video training on digital skills for everyone

Check out Google Trends to understand what people are talking about in your area, right now

Check out the impact and popularity of hashtags on Best-Hashtag before you post

Facebook for Business. Keep your profile up to date with all temporary and current information to share

Use Facebook Spark Augmented Reality application to create branded filters and effects for Facebook and Instagram. Free application, templates available to make it easier to use

Facebook is rolling out an video-call conferencing app to compete with Zoom, called Messenger Rooms. Video calls, groups up to 50, can invite non-Facebook users to join

Google Hangouts video-call conferencing is free, allows screen sharing, groups up to 25, and inviting users without gmail.

Team collaboration, organizing, and task prioritization applications for the workplace: Try a visual, easy to learn program such as Trello, Asana or Slack

Learn how to use free file sharing applications for sharing documents and collaborating, such as Google Drive(15GB), WhatsApp (?), DropBox (2GB), Wimi (10GB/3Users) Storage limit shown as (xGB)

With employees working from home it's important to keep your data secure. Consider creating a secure connection with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or installing a Firewall. Click on the underlined links to better understand what these systems are and what could be a fit for your business


CO Design Studio's Porch Placemaking Week [May 30-June 5] and Resources for creating sense of place

Jason Roberts of Better Block has visited Duluth on two occasions, the second of which as to put on a pop-up placemaking event at 4th St and 6th Ave E, in collaboration with Zeitgeist Arts. In case you missed it, check out this article. There lots of good information on their website. Be sure to check out the Recipe Library of pop-up installations and the open source cnc-ready designs for printing and assembling

Article: 7 Ways to Re-Open Our Communities While Keeping Everyone Safe from The Social Life Project

American Society for Microbiology technical report 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic: Built Environment Considerations to Reduce Transmission

*Don't miss the regularly updated Regulatory Resources for Re-Opening Your Storefront or Workplace Post Pandemic guide. This is a compilation of local, state, national, and industry expert linked resources to serve as a hub for regulatory information on re-opening your business

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