The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way whole states and countries operate. Because of the coronavirus, weddings are limited to a handful of people. Many beaches will be closed for the Fourth of July. The business world has been impacted, too. Travel and hospitality-related businesses have been particularly hard hit. Restaurants have shifted to take-out and delivery. Schools and even some retailers have also closed their doors. Luckily, there are plenty of tools available to aid these organizations during this time.

There are plenty of great platforms that are making it possible for people to meet even though they must maintain social distance. These include Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Millions are using these tools to connect for work and social purposes. Meeting Maker is also a great tool, and it’s being provided free for one-to-one meetings during this crisis. Trend Micro is a related technology product but in the security space. This is being provided free also during the crisis. PC Matic is another security company offering free services at this time.

There’s a lot of local, county-level, and federal aid available during the COVID-19 crisis, too. This includes the EIDL and PPP programs, which were initiated at the federal level. In North Carolina, a statewide Rapid Recovery Loan Program is available. County-level programs are available in Orange, Chatham, and Wake counties. There are other specialized assistance offers tailored to people in specific industries, like the arts or restaurant industries. Plenty of companies that pledged to give aid in the COVID-19 crisis have set up grant programs to distribute the money. In some cases, those funds have been exhausted. In others, there have been additional rounds of funding.

Finally, there are other resources to help businesses plan and execute a roadmap out of this crisis, too. These are built on soft skills. Whether that means more investment or pivoting in a new direction entirely, plenty of experts have volunteered their advice and insights free of charge. Ideas from fundraising specialists are one important tool for businesses facing unforeseen expenses. Some successful entrepreneurs are offering free ask me anything sessions where they’ll answer questions from others in the business community who might not otherwise have a chance to connect with them.