Although we’ve had great news regarding a vaccine that is stated to be 90% effective fighting the COVID virus, we are still months away from delivering this vaccine to the American public. Small businesses need help NOW and our local and federal governments should and could help them out!
Since it is known that COVID-19 is mainly spread through person-to-person and virus-laden droplet contact, it makes sense to provide government funds for small businesses to install HEPA filtration systems, UV Lighting, and humidifiers.
This would dramatically aid in fighting the virus indoors at a relatively small cost.
The costs to install a new filtration and humidification systems seems to average around $4,000 to $5,000 USD.
The government could grant small businesses these funds to update their business with HEPA filtration, UV systems, and humidifiers. Also, fund employers employees for the time it takes to install the systems, and then follow a process to confirm a successful installation. A simple installation/confirmation process could be:
This small business opening grant/process should be added to the current COVID-19 phased plans that many states are using to combat the Corona virus. It would also help boost infrastructure through the construction, installation, project management, and operation of these systems. Considered a win-win!!! To me this seems like an efficient, effective, and economical way to get our small businesses up and running to capacity during the winter months.
Back in 2017, I was fortunate to manage the BMO Harris Bank / 1871 Fintech Partnership Program where we would mentor up to eight fintech companies. The program was setup to give Fintech companies a good understanding of how to work with large Financial institutions. Also, it gave BMO Harris the opportunity to work with up and coming technical rising stars. We worked with 1871 to announce the program and to setup an online application that allowed Fintech’s consideration to be part of the mentorship program.
Working with stakeholders, it was determined that the program would run for 3 months with a final judging contest that awarded cash prizes. We worked with 1871 to announce the program and to setup an online application that allowed Chicago FinTech's an opportunity to be consider for the mentorship program. A selection committee was created to review the applications and to select the startup companies that we wanted to possibly work with as mentees.
At an 1871 TGIF, the program was announced on April 21, 2017. BMO would accept applications and interview technical startup companies with a Fintech product or service to be part of the mentorship program. From the identified applications, 6 startups were selected to move forward as part of the mentorship program. Each startup was matched with FI experts from BMO Harris Bank which acted as mentors for a three-month period. At the end of the mentorship period, each mentee gave a 10 to 20-minute presentation in front of several BMO Harris Bank leaders who in turn selected a first, second, and third place winner.
The program was a huge success as BMO Harris Bank selected two Fintech companies, Genivity and SpringFour, partnering with the tech startups to bring their products and services to specific customers.
Due to the overwhelming success of the program, I was asked to manage this program every year until the department I worked in was disbanded in 2019.
If you are an organization that is looking to enter or solidify your presence in the digital and technical world, please feel free to contact me so we can discuss how I can aid you in your success in the digital or fintech world. https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-m-kottke/