Introducing The Rebuild Program—a project to help small businesses reopen amid a pandemic

May 4, 2020, 9:30 AM UTC

Our battle with the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, but parts of the world have begun exploring what it might look like to reopen shops, restaurants, bars, and tourist attractions. Many people have been working from home for weeks or months as senior management teams contemplate: When is it the right time to bring everyone back to the office? How can we do so in the safest manner possible?

As communities attempt to revive the economy, small businesses will face the same question as large ones: How do we reopen after a global pandemic? This is a question few have faced before, but narrower considerations—how to reinvent your business model or how to navigate tricky employment law scenarios—have been explored and studied. Experts and consultants are often financially out of reach for small business owners, leaving them largely on their own to take on such a daunting task. And if they get it wrong, they could lose their business for good. 

We at Fortune are thrilled to announce the launch of the The Rebuild Program—an avenue to bring small business owners from across the country together to learn from leading experts and each other.

The program will consist of six weekly virtual conversations—featuring industry consultants and experts and moderated by Fortune editors—that tackle the challenges business owners are facing right now. We’ll also build a digital community where these small business owners can network and pick each others’ brains to share lessons learned.

We’re looking for a variety of small businesses to work with across the country: clothing boutiques, technology manufacturers, restaurant chains. Leaders in U.S.-based companies with fewer than 500 employees are eligible for the program, and applications are now live. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, May 11. Please send questions to with the subject, “The Rebuild Program.”

We’re also launching a new section of called How to Reopen. We aim to chronicle how organizations big and small are rebuilding their businesses, the pain points they are facing, and the insights they can share. We’ll package these in a weekly newsletter launching Sunday, May 17. Sign up now to make sure you’re on the list for the first issue.

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