Amidst all the alarming reports about the coronavirus, it’s important to look on the bright side once in a while. Luckily, we have found several good things that are happening across the U.S. in the small business world despite the current pandemic.
Americans Are Ordering More Takeout to Support Local Businesses
Restaurants are urging Americans to participate every Tuesday in “The Great American Takeout.” The food industry has been hit hard as people are encouraged to social distance and most states have now required restaurants to switch to “to-go only.” Though this is important to slow the spread of coronavirus, it can be devastating financially. Thankfully, many restaurants have been touched by the support of their local communities as people are buying gift cards and ordering more takeout. Several government officials have also recommended that people order takeout 2-3 times a week to support local restaurants.
A Website Was Created to Help Struggling Businesses
Gannett, the owner of USA TODAY, announced a new website, supportlocal.usatoday.com, that will allow users to select local businesses in their community to support by buying gift cards for use in the future. Visitors and business owners can also add local businesses to the website. “We feel that local businesses are such a core part of the fabric of the country and the communities we all live in,” said Kevin Gentzel, Gannett’s chief revenue officer. “They really are a reflection of the heartbeat of America.”
Distillers Have Started Making and Giving Away Hand Sanitizer
Distillers are now making hand sanitizer as demand grows across the U.S. Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to prevent the virus’ spread, but is less convenient during the day. As such, it has become essential for first responders, as well those working in hospitals, homeless shelters, daycare centers, and grocery stores. Certain tax cuts have allowed these distillers to be able to produce sanitizer more economically, so they can donate the bottles to essential businesses and sell 2-ounce bottles to individuals.
The Government is Offering Some Financial Help to Small Businesses
The Small Business Association has a webpage dedicated to providing businesses with resources during the pandemic. One program they highlight is The Paycheck Protection Program, which will begin April 3rd, 2020. This program helps the millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention. The website states: “Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations. . . described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program standards.” A sample application can be found here. Some details of the program include:
- Eligible recipients may qualify for a loan of up to $10 million determined by 8 weeks of prior average payroll plus an additional 25% of that amount.
- Loan payments will be deferred for six months.
- If you maintain your workforce, the SBA will forgive the portion of the loan that is used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and other expenses.
All this good news has certainly brightened our day as we hope it has yours! Afterall, we are all in this together. Comment below if you have any good news to share!
For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. If any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add, please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!