LAKE WORTH, Fla. — Opening more public spaces and businesses isn't coming fast enough for some industries, especially those not in the restaurant and food industry. Palm Beach State College is offering free online tutorial courses to help both small business owners and dislocated workers up-skill and retool to return to business stronger.
Wayne Lewis, the owner of Crossfit iQ, spends most of his day on Zoom and FaceTime to keep his clients physically and mentally in shape.
"I need it so that I don't jump off the ledge," said Amy Sullivan, a CrossFit iQ client. "It helps my back, my core and my anxiety."
When Zoom and FaceTime classes aren't enough, clients are able to check out equipment. The arrangements aren't enough to sustain the emotional, physical and financial health of all businesses.
"What's considered essential? Because, to me, my gym is essential," Lewis said.
He worries too much focus has been on food and retail in the state of Florida from the start.
"We don't have the option to do takeout fitness," he said. "We can't do fitness to go."
The phase that would allow gyms, salons and barbershops to operate in some capacity has still not taken affect across the state.
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"Don't just say, 'Hey, sometime in the future.' The future could be three months from now," Lewis said.
In the interim, Palm Beach State College's Corporate and Continuing Education division is offering 10 free self-paced online tutorials to help business owners and workers adapt.
"This crisis has really refocused us on our small businesses," said Dr. Barbara Cipriano, associate dean of the college's public safety and interim director of corporate and continuing education. "The train keeps moving. Education doesn't stop."
Cipriano said no matter where businesses are when it comes to reopening, owners could benefit from courses like "Marketing Your Business on the Internet," which covers "site stickiness" or how to keep visitors looking for updates. "Small Business Marketing on a Shoestring" tackles how to stretch your dollars, repeat business and referrals.
"I'm going to have to look into that," added Lewis. "It might be a necessity for me to have a backup plan."
CrossFit iQ has already laid out a plan to minimize the spread of the coronavirus when doors do reopen.
Palm Beach State College's free tutorials until June 30 to help small businesses and dislocated workers can be found here.