As the world around us continues to morph into more and more of an unknown territory, entrepreneurs may be questioning their position in the market as a business owner- a creator. Now, more than ever, entrepreneurs will have to grasp onto the new digital world of business and marketing- or accept failure. In this time of quarantine, there are some essential actions that entrepreneurs can take to push their businesses ahead during crisis.

Everyone knows that small business is the heartbeat of our country. Small business not only provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to grow and expand their creative strength, but also, they help to grow the local economy and its neighborhoods. Just think of your favorite local restaurant and how it may provide locals with a space to meet up for socializing, employment, a sense of pride and, the bonus of serving up good eats! It is imperative that we understand the role that small businesses play so that we are able to properly support them- especially in times of crisis.

In steps the COVID-19, or coronavirus, global health pandemic. 

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Coronavirus may have taken its place in our world in 2019, but it was mid-March 2020 when most people truly discovered the power and wingspan of this illness, as it began claiming lives, shutting down businesses, and forever changing life as we have known it. 

We slowly had to give up so many of the things, little things, that made life beautiful: Handshakes that solidified good faith, playing thoughtlessly in playgrounds with friends, worshiping with our fellow religious peers, shopping on weekends with your besties- all of it gone.

Even with all the losses we have had to take, we still have control over many things- one of them being supporting the small businesses that have always supported us. It is important, now more than ever, to patronize those restaurants who are no longer allowed to serve dine in meals or provide bar service, the boutiques that have had to convert their sales models to 100% online.

Can you imagine the frustration of the business owner who, for years, have sacrificed everything to bring their dream to fruition and in one week it’s all gone? Heartbreaking.

Entrepreneurship has always been about being resilient and being able to weather the storms of life. Small business owners are experts at jumping the hurdles and beating the odds. That’s why we know that they will be victorious over this latest trauma. If you are an entrepreneur, you are facing some of the hardest times of your life. At this time, it will take massive support, from various sources, to impact a positive change in your morale and bank account. There are some resources available to help the small business owner ease some pain and remain grounded.

Square

  • Waiving all software subscriptions for April 2020 and refunding March 2020 fees 
  • Local business directory www.giveandgetlocal.com to make it easier for customers to find and support Square businesses
  • Square online store launched curbside pick-up or local delivery 
  • Webinars to help small businesses make informed decisions for their business

Small Business Association

Offering Disaster Loan Assistance for businesses, non-profits, homeowners and renters

 

Small Business Majority 

Webinars and daily updates for small businesses

 

IRS

Extended tax filings from April 15th to July 15th

 

Facebook Small Business Grant

Offering $100 million in cash grants to 30,000 eligible small businesses

 

Entrepreneurs aren’t only affected by the COVID 19 epidemic financially. Mental and physical health is also weakened as business owners have anxiety caused by the financial fallout, worry of losing their businesses-leading to the development of negative thinking. All of this compounded with stressors from being quarantined is more than enough for a few melt downs. The good news is that we are all in control of how we perceive this down time. There are some amazing resources to help answer some questions about health concerns and keep the mind focused on being mentally and physically healthy during this time.

 

National Alliance on Mental Health 

Resources and information on anxiety, depression, death of loved one, and much more 

 

Home Meditation for Beginners 

  • Explores various forms of meditation that can be done in the comfort of home
  • Instruction and education for understanding meditation 

 

125+ Free Streaming Workouts 

  • Videos from PopSugar Fitness, YouTube and many others- every workout from Zumba to Yoga to 
  • Workouts for all age groups 
  • Roku TV videos- easily accessible from your smart TV

 

The silver lining is that sometimes the crisis is really a come up. It can be a time to reevaluate your business brand and strategy and improve accordingly.  There are a plethora of free webinars and courses being offered by everyone from Google to niche professionals. Look at this as an opportunity to grow while everything is on a pause. Often times, we can’t invest in ourselves in this way because time doesn’t permit. Seize this opportunity and come out on the other side of this crisis as one of the winners. 

 

QuarantineCon.co

This entrepreneurial virtual hub offers free webinars with professionals in every industry. They offer VIP access, which allows registrants to speed network in a virtual setting (so dope!) and gain some viable contacts. There’s a live DJ between sessions that keeps the energy of the virtual audience lit! Follow on IG: @QuarantineCon.co to follow the weekly webinar offerings 

 

Coursera

This company partners with 190+ universities and companies to build skills, offering online courses, certificates and degrees. There are many free courses that entrepreneurs would benefit from, such as Algorithms and Successful Negotiations. The course offerings are vast and allows for flexibility in scheduling. 

 

SIB University 

Sistahs in Business Expo offers free master classes that are helping entrepreneurs to understand Digital Marketing, SEO, Tax tips and more. All of these classes are critical to the 2020 entrepreneur that’s looking to be a part of the new wave in how business is being done. 

 

The reality is that this crisis will forever change our lives, in every arena - especially small business. Instead of creating worry around those things we can’t change, invest the energy into maintaining optimal mental and physical health and growing as an entrepreneur. There will be noticeable changes in what customers will now expect from businesses.  The dynamics have changed. The game, now, has new rules. Companies like Netflix and Groupon emerged from the crisis of recessions of 2008-2009, because they built their product to the customer of the new wave. That’s a testimony to all entrepreneurs!

Remember these things:

  1. Breathe
  2. Be thankful for the ability to build some strategies around your next moves
  3. When the time comes (and it will come!) be ready to execute like a beast!