Small businesses and non-profits are especially hard hit during the coronavirus outbreak. We get it! Baltimore Fishbowl is a small business, too. To help small businesses and non-profits, we will provide regular updates to let you know how they are coping.
The following is an update from Nirmal Kedia (President) and Noah Shumway (Director – Sales & Marketing) of OFFICENSE on how they are adapting and coping during these times.
OFFICENSE has been supporting local businesses since 2006. We are in the professional image business. Whether it’s when your potential clients meet you at your office in our facilities, when they look you up online, or when they interact with your company on the phone, OFFICENSE ensures you are projecting a consistent, professional image at a fraction of the traditional costs.
Specifically, we assist companies by offering flexible workspace solutions, live answer phone services, and highly customized administrative services that go far beyond just office rental. Our customers include large or small companies including contractors, attorneys, mental health counselors, CPR training companies, non-profits, IT services companies, state and federal government contractors, medical research companies, and many more. These companies rely on us to receive their phone calls, sort their mail, process their checks and payments, and provide technology and communications support so that their staff can work effectively, whether it is from their offices or their homes.
How have you altered your business to adapt to the quarantine?
Because of our obligation to sustain our clients’ businesses, OFFICENSE has made every effort to work with our clients, and a commitment to continuing to providing the critical essential infrastructure they’ve come to depend on. We offered flexible work schedules to our essential in-office staff as well as reduced our operating hours to allow for social distancing during peak commuting hours. Much of our support team is already setup to work remotely.
We are quite a bit different from the so-called “coworking” space, in that we offer private meeting rooms for our clients to conduct their business rather than the community type common shared desk spaces. While the open shared desk coworking model is great for social settings, our private offices model is more conducive to conducting business professionally in private, and naturally suitable to ensure social distancing.
OFFICENSE has always focused its efforts on offering truly business critical and value adding support services such as phone answering, custom administrative services, mail handling/processing, and small business consulting. We are proud that we have continued to service our “essential-business” clients by processing their mail, checks, and business critical communications without any interruptions or lay-offs, while other shared space and rental based coworking companies such as WeWork, Spaces, and Regus have all shut down and cut staff.
Are you doing something for the community or your employees that you want to share with our readers?
We’ve implemented a strategy to continue to operate and assist our clients who are experiencing a dramatic drop in their business activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve instituted specific measures to keep our clients and staff safe including limits on the number of people in our office at any given time, regular sanitation of doors, handles, and offices, flexible policies toward delayed payments, and even waived specific fees for those most affected.
We are also offering free loan application advice to our clients applying for the Payroll Protection Program. We realize many small business owners are overwhelmed by the changing rules and guidelines for loan forgiveness, so we’ve taken the initiative to provide one-on-one assistance in applying, as well as additional resources for funding during these difficult times.
We are happy to help any Baltimore business navigate the program and welcome any readers who still have questions about the program to give us a call!
What is the status of your employees?
Unlike many others in the office space rental industry, OFFICENSE has not laid-off or reduced any or our staff and we’ve personally assumed the costs related to these unique circumstances.
We know that part of why our service is so valuable to our clients is because we have the most professional and qualified team of Executive Assistants available. One of the things we are most proud of has been our commitment to our staffs’ well-being, their quality of life through flexible work schedules and our ability to continue to support our staff over this difficult time.
How can readers help you get through the crisis?
Actually, we’d like to help your readers. We’d love to engage with any of your readers who are looking for advice on working remotely, learning about options available to establish a “virtual” office, or need assistance answering and forwarding calls to their at-home work force. We’ve received so much encouraging feedback from companies we work with. They are thrilled that they are able to continue operating as usual thanks to our 24×7 receptionist service, mail forwarding, and custom support.
If any of your readers are interested in strategies to reduce their office overhead, gain truly fail-safe and reliable back-office support, or present a professional image while working from anywhere in the world, we encourage them to reach out to us.
How are you coping, personally?
We are optimistic that we will bounce back when all this is over, and about the resilience of our country and the economy. We are taking this time to reach out to our clients to learn more about their specific struggles. Our entire team has been working together to help each other out and keep up the energy and positivity in the workplace. We hope that every one of your readers are taking this time to reconnect with family and their community!
You can contact OFFICENSE online at www.officense.com or by calling 410-814-7500.
If you represent a local small business or non-profit and would like to share your update with our readers, contact Nicole Allen at [email protected]. During the crisis, we will offer these sponsored posts for free as a service to the community.