Ways we can step up to help small businesses

Supporting small businesses

Introducing Zoho’s Digital Jumpstart Program

Supporting small businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced hardships in multiple areas of business, government, and everyday life. Small businesses in particular have been subjected to increased challenges as the way we do business has changed.

There are many types of small businesses: SMEs, MSMEs, local shops, and more.

We at Zoho know small businesses are a vital part of our communities across the world, so we’ve compiled some actionable tips for supporting small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, and beyond.

We’re also pleased to announce our new Digital Jumpstart Program to help small businesses adapt to the changing business landscape.

 

Let’s take a look at the ways small business in different parts of the world have been affected by this current crisis: 
  • According to a survey done by the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), 50% of micro, small, and medium companies (MSMEs) in India are struggling to pay salaries and rent.

  • According to a University of California at Santa Cruz study, 41% of minority-owned small businesses in the US shuttered their company for good.

  • 67% of African business owners said their business has been hit hard since the introduction of social distancing, lockdowns, and curfews on the continent – as per an African Management Institute (AMI) report.  

  • Department of Education, Skills and Employment  reported that nearly 30% of Australian businesses have reduced staff since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

If we step up and support small businesses now, they will stand a better chance of surviving.

Small businesses offer a positive impact on their communities by creating more job opportunities and keeping money circulating in their local economies.  

Small businesses can create a huge impact on a national economy as well. For example: Indian MSMEs contribute close to 30% of India’s GDP.

Small businesses preserve the unique character of our local communities and create a multiplier effect. Locally made products can attract customers and tourists to a community, adding to that area’s incoming revenue. For example: Some Indian MSMEs preserve India’s textile legacy, including world-famous silk sarees and fabric prints.

 

MSME Day is celebrated across the world on the 27th of June every year. Zoho applauds and thanks MSMEs for their contribution to the world.

 

Wondering how  you can support small businesses now during the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn? Here’s some tips on ways to help beyond simply spending money:

Go local

Buy locally made and sold products over those from a bigger brand. Need a household device or a new piece of clothing? Skip ordering from international brands and look at local shops first.

Show them some love

Find small businesses in your area or even online. Like and comment on their social media posts, or even re-share on your own account. Leave a positive review on their website or other business review sites. Tell your friends and family about them and encourage them to shop small as well.

Go the extra mile

If possible, don’t cancel current memberships during your area’s lockdown or limited-capacity periods. Buy gift cards from them to use later when business in your area is more stable. Purchase some of their products in bulk now to use over time to give the business revenue now when things are tough.

 Uplift them

Offer your services for free. If you have free time at the moment and can offer needed services like web development, device repair, or even social media advice, consider volunteering your services to support local businesses. Some local organizations may even be able to accept monetary donations.

Ways to support small businesses

Small businesses are going digital       

One of the positive responses the business world has seen during the COVID-19 pandemic is a growing digital transformation as many businesses of every size learn that digitization is essential to keep their business going. Small businesses owners are putting in extra effort to improve their digital literacy.

According to a report by Connected Commerce Council (3C), 76% of small businesses in the US are relying more on digital tools than before.

Small businesses especially must adapt to digitization faster to navigate this new normal of remote work and limited-capacity social distancing.

Zoho is proud to offer multiple apps that can help small businesses not only survive these hard times but thrive in our changing world.

Small businesses can use our apps to:

Zoho is passionate about empowering small businesses to succeed. This has been one of our driving motivations for the past 23 years.

 

Zoho’s contribution: MSME Digital Jumpstart Program

 If you are a MSME business owner and looking at digital tech adoption, we at Zoho are happy to help you with our new Digital Jumpstart Program.

Through this program, Zoho will help launch the digital transformation journey for ten winning companies and provide any necessary support to help them succeed.

To submit your business into our drawing for a free Digital Jumpstart, please fill out this form before July 5, and choose your primary business goal.

Some of the goals available to choose are remote working, build an online store, manage finances, manage employees, improve online presence, support customers better, and handle all business aspects.

We will draw ten winners from all submissions. Submissions are limited to one per business. Please complete your business submission before July 5, 2020.  

After the ten winners are drawn, Zoho will then set up digital solutions for their businesses based on the primary business goal they registered in the form.

 
A note to all small business owners :

Thank you for being the beating heart of our economy. We’re here to help you.

Get in touch with us if you need to talk to an expert about digital technology. You can start with a comment right now.

When you shop small businesses, you support someone’s big dream.

Stay strong. Stay compassionate. Stay safe.

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