The coronavirus is dominating the public consciousness and will continue to do so for months. This is a global issue that leaves both consumers and businesses in a state of limbo. Almost all of the major sports leagues around the world have canceled the rest of their seasons. Colleges have moved to be entirely online, and many companies are mandating employees to work remotely.
Unfortunately, there are still many unknowns when it comes to this virus. Politicians, lawmakers, and business owners are all still trying to determine what to expect, and how to prepare for a variety of outcomes. In this article, we’ll focus specifically on potential outcomes for small businesses, both positive and negative.
Possible Negative Outcomes
At a high level, most negative outcomes for small businesses will fall into two distinct categories: sickness and loss of business.
Some experts are estimating anywhere from 40 to 70% of the population will contract the virus, but the truth is, no one really knows. However, we do know that businesses will see a significant impact. Daily routines will have to change due to school closings, switching from an office to remote work, and mandatory quarantines. While you can’t completely prevent the coronavirus from affecting your business, you can do your part to prevent the virus from spreading by following the CDC guidelines. You should also stay as informed as possible. You don’t have to be glued to the television for minute-by-minute updates, but make sure you have a good overall sense of how things are progressing.
Supply Chain Interruption
As coronavirus continues to spread, businesses will experience struggles accessing supplies and receiving shipments from their vendors. At the moment, this issue is mostly affecting businesses that source their supplies from China. However, given the global impact of this virus, it will soon be an issue for all supply chains. If your business’ supply chain hasn’t been affected yet, reach out to your vendors. Try and get a sense of what they’re doing during these times. Is there an option to prevent a loss of supplies? If it looks like supplies will be hard to come by in the future. Evaluate your current inventory and think of ways to work with what you have until your supply chain returns to normal.
Possible Positive Outcomes
It isn’t all doom and gloom, even though it seems that way. There are some positive ways businesses will be affected, and actions are already being taken to protect small businesses.
Increase in Business
Believe it or not, depending on the industry and location, some businesses will see an increase in customers. Consultants, financial service companies, and most of all healthcare companies should see a steady increase in business. Even if your business doesn’t fit into one of these industries perfectly, try to think of new and creative ways you can serve your customers during these challenging times.
Now more than ever, small businesses are concerned about their finances. A lot of businesses run on tight budgets, and that combined with the uncertainty of the market makes for some big potential problems. In the United States, lawmakers have already taken actions to mitigate the impact of the virus on small businesses. The Federal Reserve cut interest rates by half a percent on March 3rd to make financing more affordable for businesses that do currently need financing. On March 6th, President Trump signed an $8 billion emergency funding package to support small businesses impacted by the coronavirus. While it may look bleak right now, actions are being taken to protect small businesses and ensure their survival during these tough times.
The coronavirus pandemic should be taken seriously. There are currently a lot of unknowns, but by being proactive and preparing, you’re taking the right steps to protect your business. Check out the infographic from Fundera below to learn more ways you can protect your business from the outbreak.