Our recent report, Digitally Empowered, studied how American small businesses are adapting to and surviving the COVID-19 crisis. The results were optimistic: 74% of small business owners say they plan to be back to business-as-usual within six months once restrictions have been lifted.
While small businesses are resilient, those empowered by digital tools prior to the COVID-19 outbreak have sidestepped hardships faced by other companies.
Here are some of the ways major tech companies are empowering small businesses’ survival today while helping them prepare for tomorrow:
Developing Necessary Small Biz Resources
Tech companies are working hand-in-hand with small business owners to provide accessible, affordable digital tools that help them stay open for business during COVID-19. Google recently released a series of updates to help local businesses adapt, including gift card sales, fundraising tools, and virtual marketing services. Amazon offers a suite of tools for small business owners to use at a steep discount, while Facebook rolled out Facebook Shops to help small businesses incorporate e-commerce seamlessly into their selling strategy.
Without these tools, small businesses would be left without much-needed lifelines to their customers. 70% of small business owners say that digital tools have been useful to them during the COVID-19 crisis, with 30% reporting digital tools as essential.
In addition to taking advantage of free and low-cost tools, tens of thousands of small businesses received emergency funds from major tech companies. Google and Facebook have both infused small businesses with capital during COVID-19, from Facebook’s $100 million cash grant and ad credit program to Google’s $800 million commitment to small business relief. Digital marketplaces are also stepping up to the plate: Intuit, PayPal, and Shopify have also offered capital loan options for small businesses.
Post-COVID, the need for digital tools is only going to continue as small businesses begin the slow rebuilding process. 34% of small businesses say they will rely more on digital tools moving forward, while 80% of small businesses report increased interest in learning how to use digital tools to help their business in the future.
We should not underestimate the importance of tech companies in a post-pandemic America, particularly as they continue to roll out tools to assist small businesses impacted by the virus.