COVID-19 Community Shifts: From Bricks and Mortar to Online Businesses
Small businesses in your community may need help when it comes to understanding and implementing the safety standards resulting from COVID-19. It can be confusing to figure out how to apply evolving provincial or municipal rules to each unique business. But with your help, small businesses can adapt quickly to changes as they happen.
The Digital Shift: From Bricks and Mortar to Online
Having an online presence has become more important for small businesses in the last decade, but COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of that even more. Companies with a robust online presence had the ability to shift their operational schemes towards the digital realm quickly.
Businesses with a minimal online presence had a lot more work to do to go from bricks and mortar to online. Operating online requires different strategies and likely new systems and software. So, besides the stress of the pandemic and having to close up shop, many small business owners faced a huge learning curve.
You can support small businesses by helping them understand the importance of an online presence, and guiding them towards resources to help them build that presence.
Networking & Communication: Even More Critical
Staying in touch with your local business owners is critical while your community manages the pandemic. Make sure all of your local businesses know that they can rely on you for support and information during this challenging period.
Give business owners a call, or send them a text or email. Pay them a socially distant visit to check in. Staying in touch makes it clear that business owners can reach out to you, and helps build and maintain strong, positive relationships.
It's also helpful to foster connections between business owners in your community. While in-person networking events are temporarily unavailable, consider setting up online networking events.
Online platforms and digital tools allow you to host webinars or round tables, or just informal community discussions with business owners. You could plan themed events for smaller groups, like a discussion forum for retail owners, or restaurant owners, or dealerships.
Health & Safety: To Protect Your Community
Health and safety guidelines issued provincially or municipally have required careful attention from business owners and their staff. Written to be widely applicable for the entire population,compliance within specific businesses requires clarity and detail that may not be immediately understood.
For various reasons, business owners may not be sure exactly how to implement safety regulations. It may be because they offer a unique niche service or are facing challenges in regard to their space. They might be wondering which guidelines they must enforce, and which guidelines are optional. You can help business owners figure out how to comply with requirements and apply guidelines within their individual businesses.
It might be worth exploring the idea of a business mentorship program for your business community as well. Those businesses that pivoted quickly and efficiently have plenty of expertise and experience to help out other businesses in the community. In the long run, connecting business owners will make your business community stronger and improve your economic recovery.
Triage BR+E for Your Business Community
Chances are you’ve got businesses in your community that are right on top of how to adapt their operations to the pandemic, and have shifted well into operating online. You also likely have businesses at the other end of the spectrum, struggling to adapt to the digital marketplace. It’s important to keep open lines of communication, especially with smaller businesses.
With a tool like our Triage BR+E™, you can quickly and easily prioritize businesses in need of critical support. This allows you to help these businesses before they’re in crisis mode and will help you make more efficient use of your time. Having fewer crises on hand means you’ll also have time to keep in touch with the businesses that are thriving.