Navigating the pandemic effects on small business
As the world starts to ask what’s going to happen when this pandemic is finally over and we can look at what it will take to jump-start the economy again, one thing is for certain; We have to save Main Street!
In Carbon County, Main Street is more than just our downtowns, it’s our farmers and our rafting companies. It’s our quaint bed-and-breakfasts, our hometown restaurants and our family-owned bakeries and groceries. It is everything that makes us who we are.
At the CCEDC we have been working tirelessly with dozens of our local businesses over the past month to assist them in applying for the government-funded programs and attending numerous training webinars on how to assist with those programs. We have even facilitated virtual networking events and other out-of-the-box ideas.
As with all things, anything the government intends to do to help your business doesn’t seem to come quickly enough. That makes it your job to rebuild and get your business back to thriving.
Coming out of this pandemic might be a time where people will want the core of what you do more than anything else. Everyone is dealing with information overload, choice fatigue, and overall world-weary feelings. Make everything easier by offering your core service. Look at what makes your business important, strengthen it and keep the “extras” and choices to a minimum.
• Make it easier to accept payments from different sources, such as PayPal or others.
As people struggle to make ends meet, smaller and faster money transfer technologies are used more. It is worth your time to learn about these alternatives and get your ability to be paid in multiple ways up and running. If you have any questions on how to accomplish this, contact us at the chamber.
• Keep your customer base warm. Remain in contact with them by reaching out through an email or a simple phone call if you have that contact information. At times like this the personal touch can mean so much. Ask how you can help and even offer free delivery or flexible payment arrangements if possible but do not cut your prices because you still have to keep your doors open.
• When times are tough, we tend to clam up and go inside ourselves. As a business owner we don’t want other people to know that we’re going through a rough patch. Rest assured the entire world is in it with you this time.
• Never forget, you are valuable. Small-town businesses and rural companies are the backbone of what makes this county and the nation run, so don’t wait for the cavalry.
You’re the one who will save your business, and you’re the one who will put this country back on its feet.
You are not alone. Now, let’s do this and remember CCEDC is here to help.
We are a phone call or email away.
Kathy Henderson is director of economic development for the Carbon Chamber and Economic Development Corporation.