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As the country, state and county prepare to restart the economy, the SOD Center is shifting our focus to RestartSalem,  

The SOD Center is collaborating with the SBDC and local experts to provide resources that will support long term success and recovery.

I would like to thank Salem Businesses for your tireless efforts, courage and strength to pivot, survive and support your employees and community. We are #SalemOhioStrong.

Julie Needs, Executive Director
The Ohio Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) provide business counseling and assistance to individuals who are either starting or growing their business. Each center is staffed with highly-trained, Certified Business Advisors® (CBA) to help small businesses and entrepreneurs with development and growth to increase sales and create jobs in their local communities.

Our advisors include Marketing, Human Resources, Accounting, Finance, and other industry-specialists to assist with your business' needs.

Feel free to contact the Director, Steve Schillig, at  330-308-7479  or email at  for more information. 
reSTART SALEM - volume 1
HR Specialist Joanna Forbes
Safe Workplace
While you were already following standards and codes for your specific industry, employees will now come to expect their workplace to go above and beyond. Personnel Protection Equipment will become the norm for most, not just a recommendation for some. Social distancing and more stringent cleaning protocols will also become commonplace and not considered “out of the ordinary.” It will be imperative now more than ever to stay current on regulations for hazard-free workplace requirements. It is time to think about how you will continue these steps after the quarantine restrictions are lifted.
Flexible Work Schedules
While your employees were working from home these last couple months, they were continually figuring out ways to stay productive. Will they expect this flexibility to continue? Possibly. It is time to review those workplace policies concerning remote work and flexibility. Staggered shifts and lunch breaks and working from home may be requested more often. If your intent is to have everyone “back in the office as usual”, begin to consider the business reasons why that is necessary. Alternatively, consider how the remote workplace benefited your employees and how you can continue it.
Business Continuity Plans
If we learned anything from this pandemic outbreak, it is how to keep our business running while having to quickly leave the workplace. It is time to look at what worked and what did not work. What did we wish we had in place that would have made the hasty exit go more smoothly? What have we learned? What do we need to work offsite for a continued period of time? It is time to document these steps and plans and have a solid Business Continuity Plan for future instances of emergency situations such as this.
Emergency Communication Plan
How was information communicated during the pandemic? Was there a haphazard group text or did it vary by position? Did some receive text, others e-mail, and possibly others just a phone call? It is time to review how the communication plan succeeded or failed during this time. Were there any holes? How will information be disseminated throughout the organization to ensure everyone receives the message? Emergency Communication Plans are essential during times of crisis where everyone needs to receive the same message in a timely way.
Six Readiness Essentials
1. Prepare the Building: cleaning plans, pre-return inspections, HVAC & Mechanicals checks
2. Prepare the Workforce: mitigating anxiety, policies for deciding who returns, employee communications
3. Control Access: protocols for safety and health checks, building reception, shipping and receiving, elevators, visitor policies
4. Create a Social Distancing Plan: decreasing density, schedule management, office traffic patterns
5. Reduce Touch Points and Increase Cleaning: open doors, clean desk policy, food plan, cleaning common areas
6. Communicate for Confidence: recognize the fear in returning, communicate transparently, listen and survey regularly 
Resources to help you reSTART

The guide outlines some of the best thinking practices and protocols as we all prepare to get back to work.

For some business owners, the Employee Retention Credit might be what they need.

" matter the situation or circumstance, if your business is open, albeit in a diminished capacity, you have to stay connected to your customers."
Webinars to help you reSTART
Managing Food Enterprises During COVID-19: 
An Online Learning Exchange 

May 6, 2020 | Time: 1-2 PM

Our panel of food & ag leaders will share insights regarding safely and effectively managing food enterprises under the pressures of COVID-19. Discussion topics will include: 
  • Best practices/models for operating a farmers market during COVID-19
  • Options if your market/local food retailer was not deemed essential
  • Lessons learned & promising practices leveraged by the grocery retail industry to keep employees & consumers safe
'Ask the HR Expert' with Joanna Forbes,
SBDC HR Consultant

May 7, 2020 | Time: 12-1 PM

What Are the Topics?
·        Working from home with kids
·        Emergency work continuity plans
·        Common FAQ’s on the Fair Labor Standards Act during the COVID-19 Pandemic
·        Ways to Social Distance in the Workplace
·        Be Mindful of Your Employee’s’ Mental Well Being During a Quarantine
·        Recruitment During the COVID-19 Pandemic
·        Remote Work Policy Considerations
·        Supporting Employees with Coronavirus
·        Family First Coronavirus Response Ace – basic FAQ’s
·        CARES Act – basic FAQ’s

The 4 Key Things Businesses
Should Be Focused on Right Now

May 12, 2020 | Time: 2-3 PM

These are unprecedented times for business owners. The goal right now should be all about how we come out the other side of this crisis a smarter, stronger and more prepared business than we were before. This webinar will focus on the four areas of your business you should be focused on right now, to successfully traverse through these turbulent times.
Resources to help you move forward
Governor DeWine has “reopened” manufacturing as of May 4th. A printable PDF clearly indicating mandatory and recommended best practices is available to help you plan and prepare.
Manufacturers are pragmatists at heart. This list is compiled through hundreds of conversations across the country of what we have heard is important to help manufacturers stay strong and figure out next steps. -->GO TO WEBPAGE
Manufacturing organizations face significant operational challenges. Three areas of focus can help plant leaders navigate the transition from initial crisis response to the “next normal”. -->Go To Article

Manufacturer Insights: Cyber Risk Expectations Versus Reality
Smart Manufacturing Cluster member, Certitude Security , has created an e-book that will arm you with the knowledge you need to provide your leadership team with more clarity regarding top cyber threats, business consequences, direct & indirect cost of downtime, and much more. -->DOWNLOAD E-BOOK
Webinar: Manufacturing Coronavirus Readiness Toolkit:
Reopening, staying safe, and planning for the future

Date: May 5, 2020 | Time: 4-5 PM

MAGNET, Ohio MEP, and the Ohio Manufacturers' Association has been hard at work finding best practices for safety, culture, technology, and reopening (or staying open) during COVID-19. These comprehensive checklists, tools, and resources will help your business be well prepared as you ramp up back to work.
The SOD Center, Inc. can connect you to resources and professionals that can help you develop a plan to adapt and move forward. Contact Julie Needs at 330-337-7669 or

Watch for our reSTART SALEM webpage coming soon!