In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Temple University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has announced that it created two new resource centers to help small business owners get back on their feet or navigate business during this time.
The new centers — called the Center for Hospitality Resilience and the Center for Digital Transformation — are two of six new “Centers of Excellence” that were established recently across the state with funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act.
The Center for Hospitality Resilience gives assistance to small tourism and hospitality businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19, and will help businesses review their space layout to comply with social distancing; web, social media and pricing; health and safety guidelines; personnel retention strategies; and new revenue sources, operating cost controls and event operations plans.
The Center for Digital Transformation will work with businesses on their digital storefronts to spur ecommerce activity and help implement a scheduling system for repairs and deliveries that comply with social distancing rules.
In addition to Maura Shenker, director of the SBDC, the centers will be co-directed by Ceridwyn King, associate professor and chairperson of Temple’s Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, and Munir Mandviwalla, associate professor of management information systems and executive director of Temple’s Institute for Business and Information Technology.
The services at both centers are free to access, and business owners can request to work with them through the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers website.
Shenker said that the goal of the centers is to not only help businesses survive the pandemic, but be positioned to thrive in coming years.
“This is an opportunity for us to do what we do best but on an even larger scale,” the director said in a press release. “COVID-19 has had a dramatic effect on small businesses and restaurants, but with this new CARES Act funding, we’re able to offer support and assistance in real, tangible ways.”