Family Forward NC Expands Rapid Response to Small Businesses to Help Them Navigate COVID Reopening or Retooling and Stay Resilient


Through our work engaging more than 5,500 NC businesses and employers since 2018, we’ve heard from small business owners across the state who say they want to incorporate more family friendly practices but don’t know where to start. 

And right now, small business owners tell us they need extra support to remain resilient through the pandemic. That’s why we’ve expanded our Rapid Response program to include resources specifically geared at small businesses of all kinds. 

Since June 2020, our COVID-19 Rapid Response program has provided employers in the manufacturing and hospitality industries with HR experts, resources and support needed as they navigate returning to work or retooling their business during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But as we continue through the pandemic, we know small businesses of all kinds need additional support to remain resilient. Consider this:

  • Eighty percent of small businesses in North Carolina are operating differently than they were before the pandemic, and most of them plan to continue their current altered form of operation, according to a survey by the NC Department of Commerce
  • Nationally, more than half of small businesses don’t expect to recover to pre-pandemic levels for at least another six months. 

Family-friendly business practices such as support for child care, along with paid leave, flexible work options, and other policies and practices are more important than ever to help employers return to business (and employees to return to work) in a way that allows for continued viability for business and continued health and well-being for the families of all workers.

Through Family Forward NC’s Rapid Response program, small business owners or managers can access: 

  • HR experts to assist them in considering industry-appropriate workplace benefits.
  • A webinar that highlights family-friendly supports that small businesses can incorporate now and over time to support families and their bottom line and stay resilient throughout the COVID crisis. 
  • A Family Forward Return to Work Kit for manufacturing and hospitality employers that is adaptable for small businesses so you can offer workplace benefits for successful transitioning back into reopening/retooling and moving forward.
  • A blind spot analysis (because you don’t know what you don’t know yet).
  • And a limited number of opportunities for no cost, targeted consultation for individual employers.

Learn more about Rapid Response and access the tools to use or share. 

We are also available to present a webinar about Rapid Response and family-friendly business practices that are business smart during and after COVID. To contact us about a webinar, email Lisa Finaldi at