In addition to the serious implications for people’s health and the healthcare services, coronavirus (COVID-19) is also having a growing impact on businesses and the economy. COVID-19 has become a full-blown pandemic. This came as a bit of a jolt though, of course one knew that the situation was worsening around the world, but the suddenness with which things just changed, really caught a lot of people unaware, especially small business owners who have much smaller coffers to sustain them. Unfortunately, many small businesses had to close their doors over the next several weeks. Closures could be temporary; in some cases, they might turn out to be permanent. At the same time it is admirable to see individuals and organizations coming together to offer assistance to those in need. If you would like to jump on the bandwagon, here are a few ways to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19:
Take to Social Media Platforms– This is the perfect time to make the best use of social media. Use social media platforms to create the awareness in terms of following and sharing the posts of companies you want to support. For example, if they’re running an awesome promotion to boost their sales, retweet it to your followers.
Choose a Credit rather than a Refund– The outbreak is moving quickly, and its growing impact on the global economy is preventing many companies from providing the product or service you ordered. You can support them by choosing credits over refunds wherever possible, which can make a huge difference between them making rent this month – or not.
Gather your Expert Friends to Create Awareness– Now is the time to exploit the opportunities of networking if you’re especially well-connected in your industry. Get in touch with experts and offer free access to their presentations for at least 24 hours. Also, provide your experts an affiliate link so that they are incentivized to share it with their followers.
Promote Free Offers From SaaS (Software as a Service) Companies– There are many SaaS companies that are offering incentives to counter the negative impacts of COVID-19. On your part, you can advertise their offers with small business owners who can use these discounted services the most right now. The best part is you can take advantage of these offers yourself.
Research & Recommend Funding Options– Businesses dealing with the arts have quite a few relief funds set-up, both nationally and locally. The Federal Reserve has also lowered interest rates to 0%, so many small, independent, local, and family-owned businesses can take out loans to stay afloat. Then, there’s the CARES Act, which can provide some relief for paying salaries, rent, and other related expenses in the form of forgivable loans. Research some optins as such and notify whatever seems like a good fit to relevant small businesses that you care about.
Build a Coronavirus Resource Center– It is just as important for small businesses to play their part well amid Covid-19 crisis in terms of efficiently communicating their current state of affairs with customers. Create a page on your website that updates users on the details of your business (adjusted hours or pricing) and how you are helping, including articles and resources that may be helpful, including any grants or funding opportunities you’ve found that are relevant to your audience. Most importantly, the page should be easy to find.
Set up a Cash Fund or Grant– If your company has the ability, you can set up a fund to help companies and employees that have lost income. Partner with local charitable organizations to support members of the community who are most vulnerable during this time to make it easier to ride over this time.
This is a small sample of all the different actions that could be taken to help small businesses.
This is something that we were never prepared for and we can never be prepared for a situation like this. It’s also a time where it’s very easy if one were to just look at the news, or even just look at social media, it’s easy to become very cynical in view of the information that’s coming at us. But we need to make sure that we stay afloat, and of course be very aware of everything, but make sure it doesn’t add to the gloominess.
Small businesses are hurting the most. It’s up to us as a community to help and support them in whatever way possible- be it with monetary support, volunteering our talents, or even just consciously shopping local (online or over the phone) when possible. As the whole world struggles to overcome a once-in-a-century pandemic, practicing patience and compassion and support towards our neighbors is paramount to our recovery as a nation. Hopefully, our world will normalize sooner rather than later, and everyone will be back with their A games on.
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