Covid-19 is leaving a destructive footprint on American small businesses.
It brought small business owners face-to-face with economic distress, temporary closures, and even bankruptcy. The impact of small business closures ripple across communities, too – 47% of the nation’s workforce is employed by small businesses, according to the World Economic Forum.
The pandemic’s severe impact on urban communities influenced a disproportionate struggle for certain small business demographic categories, with Black business owners suffering the most. The number of self-employed Black individuals decreased by a staggering -37.6% year-over-year, from April 2019 to April 2020.
However, this same segment has since had the strongest rebound amongst all demographic categories. In August 2021, the number of Black-owned businesses surged to 1.5 million strong.
U.S. small businesses are making their comeback, but they’ll need consumer and corporate support to succeed. Here are a few ideas to help champion them.
Help Small Businesses Go Digital
Small businesses that previously relied on cash transactions now must go digital. Throughout Covid-19, consumers learned of the convenience of digital transactions. When health concerns rose, consumers opted for touchless payment options, such as payment cards’ tap-to-pay features and digital wallets, such as Apple Pay. Many businesses matched this consumer preference and behavior by pausing the acceptance of cash payments, for both convenience and safety, thus requiring payment cards for transactions.
Aside from the mounting pressure to adapt, there are many benefits to payment card acceptance. These include:
- Secure transactions: Electronic payments eliminate the potential for bounced checks or counterfeit currency
- Translated currencies: Payment is settled in U.S. dollars, regardless of the customer’s ‘home’ currency
- Faster checkouts: Swipe or tap and the payment process is complete
- Higher sales: Research finds consumers spend up to 16% more when using a payment card
- Expedited earnings: Revenue is available in real-time; no bank runs necessary
- Data availability: Card payments provide refined customer insights and purchasing data
- Customer satisfaction: 79% of shoppers report using contactless payments for safety and cleanliness
Mastercard also offers digital support for small businesses via their Digital Doors initiative. This online resource helps business owners establish and build upon their digital presence, from basic digital tactics to e-commerce recommendations to cyber security tips. Check it out for yourself and share the resource with a small business owner.
Consider Small and Local Businesses
The World Economic Forum reports a staggering 34% of America’s small businesses are still closed due to Covid-19. The two-thirds of small businesses that survived need support. Their costs have increased to fulfill new health and safety compliances, and they’re experiencing inventory delays due to supply chain issues.
Consider your community’s small businesses and service providers now more than ever, and as the holiday season approaches, shower your local entrepreneurs and economies with support. Check out this Small Business Directory to identify your local options!
Rate and Review Your Positive Experience with a Small Business
In our digital world, the age-old word of mouth referrals small businesses rely on have transformed. Potential consumers now head online for references and feedback, reading reviews across sites like Yelp and Facebook.
If you’ve benefited from or had a positive experience with a local business, consider leaving them a rating or review online. It’s an easy and free way to show your support!
Commit to Supporting Small Businesses
Master Your Card encourages you to invest in your local small business community now more than ever. With the help of community members, local businesses and service providers can achieve success. When small businesses succeed, jobs are created, and economies grow.