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The Traveling And Tourism Companies Were Hit The Hardest.
What Can You Do?
There has been a lot that has happened as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19. As people are being encouraged to wash their hands to prevent the spread of germs, there has been a shortage of hand sanitizer, bleach and cleaning wipes, and other similar products. A lot of work culture will be temporarily changed as companies start to deploy mandatory work from home policies, and travel and tourism will be affected as our government temporarily bans travel to certain places where cases of the virus are high.
A lot of these changes can be stressful, but the best thing that we can do as marketers is to look forward and to calm the nerves of consumers as best we can by having clear, concise, and accurate messaging.
What to do now
While federal, state, and local lawmakers mull over additional aid, Mills recommends that small business owners:
Apply for the Small Business Administration loans. In addition to the disaster loans, which only apply to businesses in states that have declared emergency status, some state governments are offering aid packages.
Explore private sector programs and fintech products. Facebook said it would offer $100 million in grants to small businesses. And fintech companies such as Kabbage and Fundbox, which specialize in loans to small businesses, are also considering ways to support the sector.
Renegotiate terms of contracts and debt. Owners should ask landlords for more time to pay their rent, for example. They should also ask banks to temporarily defer interest payments on outstanding debt.
Concerned consumers can help by buying gift cards from their local businesses, a small gesture that can help Main Street shops stay afloat. “That’s an excellent way to get money into these businesses,” Mills says.
Large companies and government agencies can provide relief simply by paying outstanding bills—now. As economic concerns mount, large companies tend to delay payments to suppliers to conserve cash. Mills recommends that organizations reject that tactic when it applies to small businesses and pay as soon as possible to support not only the vendor, but the American economy.
“They should pay all of their invoices now and pay anything they can forward,” says Mills. “The Apples of the world should take it as part of their civic responsibility.” Mills emphasized that acting quickly, with both small individual steps and large government-led actions, is critical.
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