To help support our community during this pandemic, our team has curated a list of resources across a variety of topics. We encourage you to utilize these resources as you look to make your own business plans and stay informed.
Support and Save Your Local Cheesemakers and Shops
Looking to purchase cheese to get you through a shelter-in-place order? Our friends Janet Fletcher and Culture Magazine are curating lists of cheesemakers and shops that you can order from for pickup, local delivery, or online delivery. Back to Top
Information and Data on COVID-19
Get informed and stay up to date on the latest facts and data on the novel coronavirus. Back to Top
- Learn more about the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the National Institute of Health. This is a repository of useful links and resources and you can also subscribe to their mailing list for updates: National Institute of Health.
- The Centers for Disease Control have shared the answers to Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 on their website.
- The World Health Organization has created a dashboard for tracking the pandemic and the number of cases. You can find it here: Dashboard for tracking COVID-19
- Need fact checking? Fight against misinformation with the Federation of American Scientists who have developed a website designed to combat misinformation: Coronavirus Project: Debunking Viral Misinformation
COVID-19 and Food Safety
There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by food but many organizations are addressing how you can be prepared. Back to Top
- The Food and Drug Administration has created a list of regarding food production and supply which is a great quick reference.
- For all food facilities, the Cornell Institute for Food Safety has created a preparedness checklist to help guide your SOPs during this time: Food Facility COVID-19 Strategy Checklist. This checklist lives on a webpage that is home to a wealth of information on food safety during a pandemic. Essential reading!
- More from Cornell: Novel Coronavirus Prevention and Controls for Farms.
- Penn State Extension University Extension shares articles on Covid-19 topics for industry and consumers, such as preparing food processing operations for Coronavirus, fighting the Coronavirus: best practices for your dairy, and Minimizing risks for Coronavirus transmission at farmers markets, on-farm markets, you-pick operations, and produce auctions.
- Pennsylvania’s The Center for Dairy Excellence shares additional resources: Covid-19 Farm Resources.
- North Carolina State University Food Safety extension is also sharing fact sheets and links for consumers, retail and grocery stores, food banks and farms.
- Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin is providing resources for dairy food processors, dairy farmers, and consumers, including a Dairy Processing Industry Guide, Covid-19 Best Practices, Best Practices FAQs, an SOP template and Employer Guidance. You can also find a list of resources and links including crisis planning tips and preparedness.
- Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association shares links to the Wisconsin Department of Ag and Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. This also has especially useful guidance for cleaning and disinfection in the event of a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19 in your facility.
- The National Milk Producers Federation has put together a guide for dairy farmers on preventing the transmission of COVID-19: Dairy Farm Handbook on Coronavirus Prevention and Management . Their site also includes a template for essential agriculture workers permits. You can find more resources on the NMPF COVID-19 Site.
- The International Dairy Foods Association has also created a response page, where legislative updates and press releases are shared: IDFA Covid-19 Response Page.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
Beyond the recommended standard disinfectant and hand-washing recommendations, the food industry has additional steps to take to ensure they are combating the spread of this virus effectively. Back to Top
- More from the CDC: Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations – Community Facilities.
- The Environmental Protection Agency provides a list of approved chemicals effective against COVID-19: EPA: Disinfectants for Use Against COVID-19.
Business Operations: Crisis Preparedness and Response
There are a range of templates and information available to help organize and guide your business through these challenging times. Back to Top
- The Centers for Disease Control has published an Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers.
- The CDC’s Pandemic Influenza pages also have a ton of information, including basic definitions and planning and preparedness resources like the Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist.
- From the Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for an Influenza Pandemic (Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
- Need pamphlets or materials to help educate your workforce? You can find signage and other factsheets to help inform and educate your staff here: Factsheets, Handwashing Guides, etc. Printouts, Handouts and Posters.
- From FMI: The Pandemic Preparedness Checklist and Guidance Document: Coronavirus and Pandemic Preparedness for the Food Industry.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA) offers a Pandemic Influenza Template to help organizations develop a Pandemic Influenza Continuity of Operations Plan. See also FEMA’s National Business Emergency Operations Center.
- Baker Tilly, ACS Member and business consulting firm, has resources on Business Continuity Planning, Financial Resilience Planning, and Risk Management Advisory: Coronavirus Preparedness Resources Center.
- The Brewers Association has a range of resources and programming for assistance during this time.
Shifting Your Business Model
Many in the food industry are making decisions to shift how they do business in order to stay afloat. Back to Top
- The National Restaurant Association’s COVID-19 Response page has this useful FactSheet, and is tracking the Restrictions for Restaurants by State .
- From Food & Wine: How to Prepare Your Restaurant for Delivery and Take-Out.
- Red Earth Design, a company that has always exclusively worked remotely, offers tips on switching your team to remote working.
- Shopify, an e-commerce solution, is offering free extended trials of their platform and ability to sell digital gift cards to your customers, as well as offering business-focused webinars.
Communications and Marketing
Flexing your business’ communication plan and timeline is a must right now and consultants and firms have advice on the best way to do so during a crisis. Back to Top
- Forrester is providing their Crisis Preparedness and Response kit for free: Responding To Coronavirus: A Playbook For Marketing And Communications.
- The Marketing Idea Exchange offers advice on real ways a small business can navigate communications through this crisis, as well as template social media graphics to use on your channels.
While supply chain channels remain strong across the country, it’s good to be prepared in case of interruptions. Back to Top
- Learn more about how the pandemic might impact your Supply Chain from ACS shipping partner Partnership.
- From the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: FMCSA’s National Emergency Declaration for Commercial Vehicles Delivering Relief in Response to the Coronavirus Outbreak.
- Learn more about the concerns from the perspective of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency: CISA: Risk Management for COVID-19.
- The Food and Drug Administration provided a guidance to temporary policies regarding audit requirements and receiving facilities: Guidance for Industry: Temporary Policy Regarding Preventive Controls and FSVP Food Supplier Verification Onsite Audit Requirements During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
There have been a lot of programs, grants, and funds established since this pandemic broke in the U.S. Below are a few to help provide potential relief for you and your business. Back to Top
- The Small Business Administration is offering low interest loans to small businesses- this website provides information about the available disaster assistance and how to apply: Disaster Assistance.
- The Food Finance Institute and the University of Wisconsin-System’s Institute of Business and Entrepreneurship is offering a FREE on-demand course to help manage your cash flow:13-Week Rolling Cash Flow: Forecasting & Debt . You can find more here.
- The Center for Dairy Research TURBO shares these resources for businesses and entrepreneurs.
- Check your state economic development agency for programs similar to what Wisconsin has developed: WEDC Announces Targeted Grants to Small Businesses Suffering Losses Due to Coronavirus Emergency.
- From Culinary Agents: How to File for Unemployment Insurance.
- The Restaurant Workers Community Foundation non-profit formed a COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund.
- Find information on tax deferral, grants, mutual aid assistance and more here: Resources for the Hospitality Industry.
- This page, developed by Culinary Agents, lists available resources and support by state: Resources for Restaurant Workers in Need of Assistance.
- The United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition service shares an update on SNAP and Child Nutritional Programs: USDA: FNS Response to COVID-19.
Education, Coaching and Support
While the world is going remote more and more each day, many companies are acknowledging the continued importance and value of speaking directly to a person for support. Back to Top
- Dr. Michele Pfannenstiel of Dirigo Food Safety offers Facebook Live Events and also Office Hours.
- The Harvard Business Review is sharing articles focused on management and leadership: Leading and Working Through a Pandemic.
- Join a weekly huddle with the Food Finance Institute of the University of Wisconsin-System’s Institute of Business and Entrepreneurship. You can find more here.
- Lawyers for Good Government Foundation has announced a program to provide Pro Bono assistance to small businesses impacted by COVID-19: Small Business Remote Legal Clinic
Upcoming Industry Webinars can be found on the ACS Industry Event Calendar
Previously Recorded Webinars:
- The SFA Risk Mitigation Webinar Series can be found here.
- Mérieux NutriSciences: Coronavirus Response: What Food Manufacturers Need to Know
Taking Care and Mental Health
It can be difficult to prioritize self care during times of great upheaval. We pulled together the following resources with the hope that they will help in the reduction of stress and anxiety of these rapidly changing times. Back to Top
- Headspace, an app for guided meditation, is offering some free programs to encourage mindfulness practice.
- The Centers for Disease Control and the The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention provide information about how different people react to stress, and tips and suggestions for coping with such uncertainty.
- Michele Pfannenstiel of Dirigo Food Safety has created a video series to help inform and coach producers through this uncertain time: Dirigo Food Safety Videos Series.
- Many museums, musicians, social media companies, etc. are offering diversions and ways to be inspired online:
- Moog and Korg Are Offering Synth Apps for Free While We’re All Stuck at Home
- Beat the COVID-19 Blues With These Wildlife and Nature Livecams
- Google Has Opened an Interactive Frida Kahlo Exhibition
- My Hand-Washing Song: Readers Offer Lyrics For A 20-Second Scrub
- Wash Your Lyrics
- Live Another Day – Live Another Day believes in equal access to life-saving mental health and substance use resources. This website provides extensive information on the best resources available.
- The Summit Wellness Group – A guide to understanding the signs of drug abuse. The Summit Wellness Group also has an excellent guide written and curated by women of color: Over 60 BIPOC resources for addiction and mental health.
Home and Personal Life
Prepare your home and bring yourself more peace of mind with the following resources. Back to Top
- Worried about internet access? Comcast Making Wifi Hotspot Free to All, Announces Other Initiatives during Outbreak.
- Learn How to turn your phone into a WiFi Hot Spot.
- While many public libraries are closed, they are keeping their WiFi on. Check with your local branch to see what digital services they are offering.
- Live in communal housing? Have a roommate? Live with family? Read this General COVID19 Protocol.
- Plan ahead- have a will and medical power of attorney prepared.
- NPR shares cleaning tips: The New Coronavirus Can Live On Surfaces For 2-3 Days — Here’s How To Clean Them.
- From the New York Times: How to Clean Your Phone.
We know that many of our members are struggling right now. But if you’re looking for small ways to bring joy to others and share what you have here are some ideas. Back to Top
- Additional ways to provide direct support to our industry from Culture Magazine: How to Shop Local Cheeses From the Comfort of Your Couch and from Janet Fletcher: Artisan Cheese Online.
- Food businesses- perhaps check and see if anyone needs gloves if you have any to spare? Got Extra Masks Or Goggles? Mass. Hospitals Already Running Short, Ask For Donations.
- Volunteer to support vulnerable community members with COVID-19 Mutual Aid.
- Purchase this shirt from Stock Mfg. Co to support Chicago Hospitality United.
- Support Restaurants with Independent Restaurant Coalition and the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation.
- Many Americans participated in the Great American Takeout on March 24 to support restaurants. Participate any day though and order takeout for delivery or pickup! GrubHub has also stopped collecting fees from independent restaurants and is starting a charity fund.