As the novel coronavirus continues to spread, local businesses are losing their customers, thus affecting nearly 44% of the US economy. Let’s check out the three major ways COVID-19 has affected economic the local and small businesses.
1. Forced Closures
According to a recent survey, COVID-19 could lead to the closure of 15,000 permanent local stores in 2020.
- Millions of people are taking refuge from the outbreak by staying at home, thereby avoiding shopping trips.
- According to the Economic Policy Institute, the COVID-19 outbreak could wipe out three million jobs from the US economy this summer.
- At least 1500 local business owners are most likely to halt their business operations permanently within three months.
What Can Be Done?
- Local flower shops, bookstores, or toy shops can start curbside pickup and delivery system since their usual storefront isn’t available now.
- Gift cards can be offered for later use at restaurants, hair salons, childcare providers, etc.
- Local restaurants can also share their delivery menus on social media pages.
2. Jobless Hourly Employees
COVID-19 outbreak has forced the hourly employees of local organizations to stay at home or quit due to forced closures.
- The number of employees going to work dropped by 18% on March 16th before the closures took effect.
- After the closures, 3 out of every 10employees did not go to work. The number increased to 6 out of 10 by March 22nd.
- Local business workers in numerous cities started working a quarter or less of the hours that they usually would.
What Can Be Done?
- Low-interest loans can be provided to small local firms to help them pay their workers.
- The Small Business Administration, for instance, has said that it is ready to offer loans of up to $2 million to local firms affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Local firms should pay hourly workers for absenteeism due to cold or flu symptoms.
3. Digital Transformation
The COVID-19 outbreak has forced multiple local firms to shut down, thereby causing most of them to turn online.
- As the COVID-19 continues to spread, China’s status as the epicenter of supply chains is causing adverse effects on consumer behavior and local businesses.
- Brick-and-mortar stores are facing harsh realities as governments enforce social distancing and strict quarantine measures.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has turned down the financial markets of local firms throughout the world.
What can be done?
- Local firms can start embracing online business strategies to cater to the demands of their consumers without opening their storefronts.
- They can also communicate with their target audience via social media platforms to preserve the relationship with customers.
- Local businesses can use e-commerce websites to provide essential healthcare and stationery products to their potential clients.
Selina Johnson works as a web developer at a reputed firm in the United States. She also helps students at MyAssignmenthelp when they say ‘do my homework for me’ over calls or through emails and chats. Selina loves to cook in her free time.
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