Small Businesses During Covid-19: What You Can Do to Help

Life as we know it has slowed down for the time being. The global consensus on how to fight the outbreak of Covid-19 is ringing loud and clear: social distancing and high levels of sanitation are the key prevention tactic to a dangerous outbreak. As families hunker down for what could be many weeks of isolation to prevent spreading or catching the Corona Virus, many business have turned to telework to keep their companies and employees afloat. Larger corporations, universities, and other schooling systems are adjusting to this “new normal” that will persist for what many hope will be a shorter period of time. However, for the millions of small business spread throughout the nation, this is a difficult obstacle.

Based on a study by JPMorgan Chase Institute, small business have less than a month of cash reserves to keep the business afloat when there is no customer base.1 This puts stress not only on the business owners, but the employees that rely on these business for income. Many of these companies cannot translate their basic operations to remote work like larger corporations, meaning the employees and business owners could be weeks away from shutting their doors and losing their jobs. This dire reality is particularly poignant in light of the Virginia Governor’s call on 23 March for most businesses to close their doors and food/beverage companies like Persnickety Crane Cafe, to serve only take out or carry out. In just two weeks since news broke in the US about the virus, business has dropped for our coffee house 50 – 80%. That financial mountain is difficult to surmount, when we are a business only 3 months old.

staying safe and healthy is distance, then business can also adopt this strategy. Many food service businesses offer curb-side service, where customers can order ahead of time and pick up their order without ever leaving the car. Another method of support is through purchasing gift cards. If there is a business you frequent, you could consider putting the money you would spend weekly into a gift card to boost weekly revenue.

If you wish to support Persnickety Crane Café during this challenging time in one of the ways we’ve mentioned, see below for options.

The only way we as a nation can get through this epidemic is to remember our duty and connection to those around us. We social distance not only to keep ourselves healthy, but to prevent spread to others in our community. In the same way, to those that are fortunate to have a stable transition to working from home, help keep the smaller businesses and the people that rely on them open and successful by supporting them financially, even if from a distance.

If we want to return to a new normal in the future, we need to help maintain the community that existed before Covid-19 so it will be there, waiting for us to come back.

1Arnold, Chris. “Small Businesses to Washington: Please Send Money Soon or We Won’t Survive.” NPR. March 18, 2020.

Author: Jordan Beamer