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"How to Help Service Professionals and Their Businesses Through the Coronavirus Pandemic"

Good Housekeeping interviewed Dr. Jonathan FieldingUCLA FSPH distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management, on how consumers can be safe and protect the service workers and professionals they deal with during the pandemic, including washing and disinfecting hands.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

There's a good chance that you haven't gotten a haircut, asked for a massage or a facial, thrown a dinner party, or asked your housekeeper to come spring clean your closets — and that's okay. Social distancing measures designed to prevent a tumultuous spread of the novel coronavirus are painfully necessary as the United States is currently experiencing the largest outbreak of COVID-19 out of all nations across the globe. And livelihoods have been impacted, making it tough to financially support service providers as we once did.

But that doesn't mean that you should cut ties with the people who help you check off those boxes on your to-do list, even if you can't pay them right now. These service professionals are experiencing a devastating upheaval to their businesses; most can't hop online to continue to charge clients for services rendered — they depend on a face-to-face experience they just can't provide right now.

While most of these professionals have already worked their way through eight weeks of social distancing orders across the nation, the biggest challenges lay ahead. Emergency savings have likely been used up to combat the loss of revenue they've already experienced. While many state leaders have enacted relief programs for more professions than ever before, some independent business owners, especially those who are sole proprietors (they work totally alone!) may not qualify for these programs. But financial challenges may be only one type of adversity they need help to overcome: Many are struggling to reimagine their services during this time, especially as it relates to technology, and pivoting to digital marketing altogether.