How is the COVID-19 Pandemic Affecting Practice Owners?
The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating effects on many industries including dentistry. This is one perspective in a series of blogs on how the stay-at-home order and the virus is affecting individuals in Denver’s dental community. Do you have a story you would like to share? Email email@example.com.
By: Female, Pediatric Dental Practice Owner
I purchased my practice in November 2011, so almost 9 years ago. I have seven full-time employees and one part-time employee. Our last day seeing patients was March 16, 2020, and even that day was filled with a lot of uncertainty. We had patients calling to cancel; were taking patient temperatures and asking a list of questions before seating them; and were wiping down the waiting room every 30 minutes.
The next week was very chaotic, for me and my team. No one had any answers and I was trying to be a leader. My team was worried about money and our patients and I was too. On March 23rd, I made the difficult decision to furlough seven of my eight employees. I didn’t even know what furloughed meant one week ago! It was the hardest conversation I have had to have with them. I spoke with them all individually. Most were understanding, some were shocked and one was mad I didn’t ask her to stay on full time. I felt some relief after having a definitive plan for my team. We have been having Zoom “meet-ups” twice a week and it has been good for everyone!
Another stress was figuring out the loans offered by the SBA. I have been listening to webinars, talking with my accountant and, talking with my banker. Again, there was not a lot of solid information and the parameters kept changing for the loans. Don’t get me starting on figuring out the PPP!!
My biggest worry now is when will we get back to work? Will we have the appropriate PPE? Can I keep my team safe? Will patients want to come in for appointments? Can I afford to pay my bills and payroll?