As the coronavirus unexpectedly struck the world, almost every establishment had to be out of operations for a couple of months. No customers. No income. No services. All while rent, utility bills, and other overhead costs pile up. While the economy suffers from these circumstances, small business owners are the most devastated by this massive interruption.
As Chad Otar writes on a Forbes article, “so many small businesses are lean and so many are bootstrapped, it doesn’t take much disruption to normal day-to-day operations to feel that squeeze — especially on our bank accounts.” Contrary to big corporations that have garnered millions and billions over the years, small businesses—especially start-ups—do not have the leeway to survive the estimated drop off in sales.
According to the Goldman Sachs survey of 1,500+ small businesses, 51% of business owners say they will only survive for up to 3 months, as they feel the coronavirus impact. This is a heartbreaking number, considering small businesses have a lot to contribute to the economy.
Small businesses have employed a total of 58.9 million workers in 2018. Small businesses are also customer-oriented, which means they are closer to the people, hearing out their needs, and feedbacks.
How can you support small businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic?
People are refrained from going out, as the world practices social distancing. However, there are still several things you can do to support a local business:
Share their advertisements online.
It does not cost much but your time. When you encounter their posts on Facebook or Instagram, click the share button. This added engagement and audience can reach a potential customer. Also, Instagram has included a “support small businesses” feature which allows users to promote these businesses. Social media marketing for franchises and local businesses is a massive help for small businesses because it is low-cost and has worldwide access.
Buy their products online
Some businesses have taken it online. Be it food, makeup, or clothes, they have made it available to cater to their customers. Perhaps, when you are thinking of ordering from an international fast-food chain, choose to order from a local restaurant instead. You will be helping them survive the crisis and keep them from closing down. Buying online limits physical contact to a few seconds of delivery. Some delivery services even offer contactless options to be extra safe.
Advertise them to friends
Word-of-mouth marketing is stronger than you think. When one recommends a certain service to a friend, they put their integrity and credibility on the line. Therefore, if someone recommends it to a friend, that means they had an impressive experience. This is also completely free. All you need is a friend and some good things to say about a business.
One thing worth noting when supporting small businesses is that you’re not only supporting the survival of the establishment. Small business owners need their sources of income to stay alive because they have a family. Others are making ends meet to get a college degree. At the same time, you’ll be helping locals keep their jobs.