By Sylvina Poole
For over 40 years, Dr. Adams, owner of Richmond Dentistry For Children, remains a staple in the city’s downtown community, offering affordable dental care and giving back through his philanthropic activities.
At the core of Adams’ business longevity is a ‘history of resiliency’ for Blacks in general during past uncertain times. This legacy of survival is called upon to aid more vulnerable businesses-owners through pandemic recovery.
Dr. Randy Adams knows all too well about the struggle of overcoming the odds with the coronavirus, particularly for Black and other minority companies.
“Yes, I think our history of resiliency has played a role in our moving forward in this lockdown period. We are by nature and heritage fighters that continue to push until we reach our goals,” Adams points out.
A national watchdog agency drives home those sentiments. According to the Economic Policy Institute, “The scattered racial impact of the virus is deeply rooted in historical and ongoing social and economic injustice. Persistent racial disparities in health, wealth, employment, access to health care, wages, housing, poverty, and income contribute to more susceptibility to the coronavirus – both physically and economically.”
But, during the height of COVID-19 and the ultimate recovery process, the federal government became a lifeline offering a much-needed program for those entrepreneurs affected more significantly than others.
“Our office has survived during the pandemic with the aid of programs like the PPP program. These programs on the city, state, and federal levels offered funds to fill the gaps doing our lean times. We also looked at ways to tighten our budgets and cut some of our expenses.”
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a $953-billion business loan program developed in 2020 by the United States federal government under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to assist particular businesses, self-employed workers, sole-proprietors, non-profit groups to pay for payroll and other expenses.
These programs are beneficial for Black and minority business owners who are struggling to meet their financial obligations. How to maximize effort with the least resource.
They resumed regular clinical practice in dental facilities after a period of isolation after COVID-19 posed a challenge. With a mandate for social distancing, Black business owners worldwide and in the city were determined to survive.
Adams takes preventive action under the direction of the Virginia Dental Council with his dental practice.
“They set standards for office organization, wearing masks and shields during treatment, the number of patients we can see in the office at the same time, and how people are admitted to the office. Took extra safety measures to guard against the deadly virus.”
Adams explained further, the measures his business took were dictated by the Virginia Board of Dentistry. They set standards for the office setup, the number of patients we could have in the office at a time, and how people were allowed into the office. He made safety a priority by initiating rules on distances in the treatment areas, cleaning protocols, taking temperatures, the number of patients in the treatment areas and a lot of time cleaning everything in the treatment areas before and after patients.
“I think Black businesses were impacted by a lot more than our white counterparts. The people that were affected the most were the minority populations. Some people had to go to work, had jobs that exposed them to the virus, were involved in close contacts, and could not afford to sit this one out.”
Every business needs a business continuity plan. It describes how you will prepare for a pandemic and continue to act after a disaster. This will help minimize recovery time and reduce the loss of your business.
In the planning process, you need to:
- define staffing schemes such as telecommuting, succession planning, and cross-training
- identify essential services and what is needed to maintain the supply chain
- develop a communication strategy for suppliers, employees, and customers
- define contingency plans
- protect the health of personnel
- take into account financial implications such as cost increase, cash flow, and insurance
- plan how the plan will be tested and updated
Dr. Randy Adams’s office is located at 300 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23220. As a pediatric dentist, Dr. Randy Adams treats braces, cavities, and cracked teeth in addition to other medical conditions.