The Covid-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on businesses globally, and amongst those being hit the hardest are SMEs. Lots of big companies, banks and governments have come together to supply useful services like emergency funding, business rates holidays and sick pay relief packages, to name a just a few. But, small businesses, especially those whose business model is around face-to-face contact, will need more to survive this setback.
In the GCC region, Ramadan is just around the corner, shortly followed by the quieter summer period, so businesses will be looking for additional working capital to make it through these trying times.
Throughout this, we need to think about what we can do to support small businesses from afar, whilst complying with everything we’ve learned about social distancing.
What can I do to help?
Support small businesses online
If a small business you usually visit has an online presence, keep shopping on their website. Thankfully, due to the UAE’s hot climate in the summer months, this region’s infrastructure is set up to cater for home delivery.
Find your favorite SMEs on social media or Google and take the time to give them a good review to boost their profile. This adds to their SEO score and will boost their search engine rankings. Even if you can’t go out and physically find them, they will be easier to discover online with your help!
Share on social media
We all have a platform from which to shout, so let’s use it for positivity. If you buy from a small business, take a photo and tag them in your own social media posts and encourage others to do the same.
Defer, not refund
To help SMEs weather the storm and come out the other side, try to defer services rather than asking for a refund. Businesses need all the liquidity they can get in order to survive this time, and your loyalty will make them more likely to achieve that.
Attend a webinar
It’s not a good time to be in the events industry. With most countries calling for a ban on public gatherings, more events are expected to be cancelled. So, show your support and attend webinars instead.
And lastly, stay at home!
The sooner this virus is controlled, the sooner life will regain some normality and businesses will be able to resume operations like usual. So, let’s all take the advice seriously and try to make the road to recovery as short as possible.