Small Businesses Urgently Seek Expert Guidance About Coronavirus

From Furloughs to Travel, Questions Abound; The Stakes are High and Trusted Sources Are Hard to Identify

PLEASANTON, Calif. and PORTLAND, Ore., March 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canceled business travel, sick leave policies, and quarantined employees are a few of the problems facing companies as they formulate their response to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. It's difficult enough for large enterprises to manage these unexpected and unpredictable circumstances; yet, the challenges can potentially cripple small companies, especially as nervous consumers opt to stay home, and employees worry about the safety of their work environment. Amid the unfolding complexities of managing employment challenges, how does a small business balance anxious employees, school and daycare closings, work travel, and employee leave while also keeping their business afloat?

With the primary focus on stopping the disease, some small businesses are encouraging employees to work from home. Others cannot offer that option; restaurants, healthcare facilities, and other service businesses require employees to be on site. Functioning with a reduced workforce, limiting the short- and long-term damage, and keeping valuable employees engaged and retained are among the most pressing needs of small businesses in the age of the coronavirus.

ThinkHR and Mammoth HR have built a business around a decentralized model of human resources that scales to support employers on demand. As the threat of the coronavirus began to take shape, ThinkHR and Mammoth HR were able to see in real-time the growing concerns of small businesses through both the increase in inquiries as well as the complexity of issues employers sought help with.

Through a combination of subject matter experts and innovative technology, the companies fielded nearly 170,000 HR inquiries from small and mid-sized businesses last year. They are currently averaging 16,000 queries a month and estimate 7 percent of that volume is now COVID-19 related. They project they will field 1,100 inquiries about how to deal with the virus in March alone. Concerns expressed so far include:

  • If we choose to close temporarily, do we need to pay employees?
  • Can we require or allow certain groups of employees, but not others, to work from home?
  • If an employee is out of the office due to sickness, can we ask them about their symptoms?
  • Can we send employees home if they are symptomatic?
  • What if I have a fearful employee who refuses to come to work?

Nathan Christensen, CEO of ThinkHR and Mammoth HR, commented, "Small businesses are the backbone of American business, and when they're derailed, we all suffer. Supporting them as they build their HR and business continuity plans is not only our job – it's our passion." Christensen continued, "That's why today we're publishing answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from employers. We hope it will help employers across the country navigate these unprecedented circumstances."

Employers seeking advice will find answers to 10 frequently asked questions on the company's blog.

About ThinkHR and Mammoth

The combined entity of ThinkHR and Mammoth are shaping the future of work through a combination of technology, people, and expert content to deliver data-powered HR guidance. Trusted providers of HR knowledge and technology-powered employer solutions, the two companies deliver HR on-demand to hundreds of thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses nationwide. Through partnerships with insurance brokers, PEOs, and HCM market leaders, the company elevates teams with better compliance, living employee handbooks, expert training courses, and benefits communications. For more information, visit ThinkHR and Mammoth.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Nathan Christensen, CEO of ThinkHR and Mammoth

Contact Data