Before COVID, the outlook for small business was high. However, the worldwide pandemic affected all sectors, and especially small business. Lack of customers, inability to meet face-to-face, a sudden decline in sales, health concerns, uncertainty, and many other reasons have created one of the most challenging times ever.
Business owners were left to fend for themselves while the economy dropped like a stone. Owners and staff struggled to stay afloat between virus surges, government regulations for masking and isolation, vaccination availability, and work from home rules.
Even though, Americans adjusted to the new normal while hand sanitizer and toilet paper sales flew through the roof. To stay afloat, business owners adapted and innovated. They embraced technology. Meetings were held via Zoom, GoToMeeting, and other web-based software. They invested in SaaS tools to keep going in the face of massive shutdowns. Employees worked from home, goods were bought and delivered via e-commerce, database management systems kept inventory management, communication, project management and collaboration humming along.
What we found remarkable was all this technology was provided without the price spikes we have seen recently in fuel prices and shortages of goods by disruptions to the supply chain.
Regardless, small business will claw itself toward recovery, because Americans always do. We did it after WWII and we’ll do this time. Recovery will take time, perhaps up to five years. Many may never reopen. Small businesses operate with slimmer margins than large corporations. We have less to invest in technology and less working capital. But the ingenuity we have to adapt is priceless.