Tech has been a critical lifeline for small businesses and consumers during the COVID-19 crisis. With social distancing restrictions in place, small business owners are counting on technology more than ever to reach consumers, market their products, and grow their business.
As a McKinsey study found, the most effective way for small businesses to meet new hygiene and safety expectations is to design effective contactless experiences through adopting new technologies. Restaurants and retailers that invested in digital capabilities and technology have fared far better since the pandemic began.
Technology has played a critical role in keeping American small businesses alive. A Verizon Business survey found that 43% of small businesses plan on expanding their businesses through digital and related technology as a response to COVID-19, and 30% have already added ways to deliver products and services digitally.
Plus, tech companies are stepping up to allow small businesses to continue to operate and serve communities. For example, delivery has become a lifeline for restaurants and grocery stores, with 81% reporting that they would have had to lay off staff if not for third-party delivery, and 75% reporting that they would have had to close their business.
Companies are also creating small business relief programs, committing to multi-million dollar investment funds, providing ads credits, compiling business resources, and waiving fees to help businesses cope with COVID-19 disruptions and keep connected to their customers.
The bottom line. Small businesses have needed to pivot to digital tools to conduct business. Technology companies have stepped up to help, invest in, and enable small businesses to continue serving their customers and communities.
Policymakers and the business community each have key roles to play to ensure a robust technology ecosystem that ensures small businesses across America can continue to thrive.
Learn more in my blog post on Above the Fold.
—Tom Quaadman, Executive Vice President, Chamber Technology Engagement Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce