The coronavirus is causing troubles for everybody. But it increased attention towards local businesses especially. Small businesses have to stop their activities due to quarantine in many countries. Gladly there are initiatives that help businesses during this difficult tie.
We at ZITICITY care a lot about all our stakeholders - merchants, recipients, couriers, investors, employees and local communities. Therefore, we took actions to support those in need. Have a read on ideas for local businesses
If you have any more ideas on how we can do better - drop us a line firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local businesses are crucial to the economy of each country. 99% of all firms and 70% of people work in small businesses. They drive economies. They nurture local communities and provide job places. So the current situation is difficult for all - your business, your employees and your family that could lose their jobs. It means that the majority of us face difficulties as no one could prepare for those.
According to the research done in the US, “many small businesses will not survive more than a month” during this pandemic time. Even if local business owners are bracing for the worst, we all can support them in our own way to make it less harmed. Specifically knowing that local businesses are the ones that can adapt the fastest to any changes due to their usually small size.
How local businesses can help themselves
First of all - keep up the positivity. You are not alone, we all are here with you in the same boat. Hopefully, some of these following points can turn into your food for thought
Apply for public funds
Public sector understands how valuable private businesses are and working hand-in-hand can stabilize economies. Small business administration of the US has put guidance on various forms of subsidies and funds to apply for. We believe that all the countries are ready to help and we just need to search for those solutions.
Consider business interruption insurance
It might be obvious for some, but not for all of the local businesses. Apparently, small businesses tend to be underinsured. According to The Telegraph, a different mindset that small business’ owners have, puts them into the risk of cutting corners. Therefore, insurance can help small and medium businesses to manage risks that the coronavirus brought.
Plan long term
Small bumps in the road keep the spirit. Big bumps ask you to redirect the road. Could this lockdown be a vacation for your business? Could you plan more sales, later on, to compensate current loses? If not, replan your resources as soon as possible.
Look for alternative ways
Once the door closes, the window can open up. Lockdown of physical stores can be a great push to start on e-commerce. Don’t overthink too much - there are plenty of templates of e-shops for you, marketplaces for your products or ready-to-install solutions. Fear no more!
Ask for help
Last but not least - ask for help. Communicate about your needs. Customers’ role here is important too - they not only should buy local products, but also emphasize on their caring behaviour. Hashtag #supportlocalbusiness gained much of attention recently and initiatives supporting local businesses did too. Consumers are ready to help - just let them know about yourself.
How countries help local businesses
Countries and cities are looking for ways to help businesses each day. Garage48 together with Accelerate Estonia - public project, initiated by the government - took action and organised an online hackathon “Hack the Crisis” to offer solutions on how to use tech for crisis response and deal with the post-crisis era. One of the winning projects - Share Force One - aims to connect B2B sides for temporary workforce exchange in Estonia.
Lithuania has followed & had a hackathon too. All small businesses had to close down their physical stores but Enterprise Lithuania offered its help via the initiative “Internete karantino nėra” (There is no quarantine on the internet, EN). It helps businessmen to create e-shops, to get consultations and even promote their e-shops online.
The French government provided a guide for local businesses and a list of service providers that could be needed for a successful start of online business.
Many governments are still looking for ways to support businesses during this crisis phase. Some are postponing deadlines to pay taxes, some are giving subsidies. Every business that did not close down is searching for possibilities on helping local communities. All the efforts count - sewing protective masks, preparing food for those in need, groceries’ deliveries from one place to another.
How ZITICITY is adding value
As a business, ZITICITY also responsibly took actions facing the given situation.
We have introduced a contactless delivery
If a sender requests, our couriers can pick-up and deliver parcels in a contactless way. Our couriers are well informed of the safest ways to do so.
Couriers are ready to deliver goods in the safest way
Safety first! We have informed our couriers to stay home if they are feeling possible symptoms of the coronavirus. Seek medical help and protect others from the spread of the virus.
Couriers, as we all, should wash hands with soap and if it is not possible, use hand sanitizer. Our couriers can buy hand sanitizer and get compensated.
We are buying protective masks and gloves for the couriers.
We regularly clean delivery bags for couriers.
Our office team is working from home if it is possible
Our team is international and remote work is in our DNA. We are ready to help you deliver no matter where you are, no matter where we are. If you are not sure how we could be helpful for your business, contact us for a free consultation.
We offer special deals for businesses that faced issues due to physical stores’ closure
50% off delivery fee for the first month of usage in April 2020. Drop an email to email@example.com with a subject line #supportlocalbusiness to claim this offer.
We also integrate ZITICITY solutions into your e-commerce (or any other platform) free of charge. Sign up or log in to start delivering!
We want to cooperate on socially responsible activities
If any organisation would like to help front line workers, let’s join forces. We can deliver food to medics from restaurants inside the cities, we can deliver protective equipment to those in need free of charge. Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.