Dr. David Godot, a psychologist whose Bixby Knolls practice offers a weekly support group for small business owners to process the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, joined the Long Beach Business Journal/Long Beach Post for a live chat on Monday.

Godot explained that the virtual support group has been a place for business owners to talk about the unique issues they face as a result of the current stay-at-home orders that have shuttered or severely limited most operations. 

While facing the same stressors as everyone else right now—creating a healthy work-life balance while working from home, entertaining and educating children who are out of school—business owners also carry a unique responsibility for their employees’ livelihoods. 

How to best navigate this responsibility depends on each business owner’s relationship with his or her employees and the state of their operations, according to Godot.

“I would suggest being as transparent and empathic as possible and [letting] people know that you’re not doing this because you’re an evil person, but because you’re trying to make sure that they have a job at the end of this,” Godot explained.

For more advice to business owners, tune it at the 15:20 mark. 

Godot, who specializes in the treatment of anxiety, PTSD and stress-related medical conditions, said the current crisis can be considered an experience of collective trauma, with unknown long-term effects for businesses and individuals.

“This is a traumatic situation and we don’t know yet how severe the trauma is going to be,” Godot said. “After this is all done, we’re going to have to analyze and to deal with our lost sense of trust in the economy, in the world, and our lost sense of security.”

To hear Godot’s thoughts on the future for small businesses, start at the 22:20 mark.