Significant interventions in response to the coronavirus usher businesses to adjust rapidly to the changing needs of the customers, suppliers, and overall operational environments. While some businesses might find it comfortable to adjust themselves to such a new market, most small businesses might have to struggle harder. If small business owners do not take preventive measures to protect what they have built, there are chances that they will have a hard time to bounce back after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
Retail, hospitality, tourism and travel, entertainment, and food service/restaurants are industries that suffer the biggest from the current crisis. These industries are also predicted to have hard times to return to their normal services.
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Mark A. Cohen, the director of retail studies, told Columbia Business School that while restrictions in the retail industry have started to subside and the business can reoperate, the industry should not expect a quick recovery. Retailers cannot expect the same recovery as in the 2008 crisis because the current crisis has no basis for an opinion other than guessing – and it is going to be tough. In addition, retailers would be faced with a series of unknowns in terms of their financial wellbeing and it will be their biggest challenge.
For the travel and tourism industries, economists predicted that the industry will take at least a year to recover from the outbreak. As reported by the Jakarta Post, Mohammad Faisal, the director of the Center of Reform on Economics announced the tourism and travel industry really depends on people’s psychology and Coronavirus is a sensitive issue that might take longer time to recover. Additionally, the travel and tourism industry should regain trust from individuals which will be a challenging task. CNBC reported that individuals have changed their plans in regard to travel accommodation. Nearly a quarter (22 percent) had switched to driving from flying and the airport industry shows a 93 percent decrease in passenger volumes over last year.
Further, the entertainment and restaurants would see a significant change over their businesses because people might enjoy streaming online more than going to the crowd now. For a restaurant business that has adopted delivery service, they will thrive in this competition. Meanwhile, for local movie theatres, playhouses, independent filmmakers, and film festivals, it will take years for them to return to normalcy. A recent report showed that the film industry could take a $5 billion hit by delaying major movie releases and other events, such as concerts and sport, also cause major losses for entertainment businesses at once.
The world has passed many crises in the past and it always recovers. For example, 9/11 attacks made travelling unsecured but we were able to travel again months after the attacks. The world also had its full recovery after the SARS outbreak. The 2008 financial crisis did not destroy the world’s economy. We survived the 2009 swine flu that infected 50,000+ individuals. And today, coronavirus will also soon be a distant memory that we can learn from.
Nevertheless, until the day of recovery from the Great Lockdown comes, there are things we should do to survive the pandemic and stay afloat. From changing suppliers to adjusting products or services, there are ways to keep the cash flows. To recover from this crisis, businesses can also take loans or adjust their strategy to get funding. There are a lot of funding options for small businesses to bounce back after these hard times, including Magic Johnson, National Banks, Kiva Loan Program, Small Business Administration’s Disaster Assistance, James Beard Foundation, Facebook Funding, iFund Women, and many more.
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