When the coronavirus pandemic began, Main Street shut down, forcing many small businesses to close their doors and rethink their operations. To learn how the pandemic has impacted U.S. small businesses, especially “Main Street” establishments such as retail stores and restaurants, SCORE surveyed more than 3,500 business owners across the country for the Megaphone of Main Street: Impact of COVID-19 report.

Findings show that small business owners are adapting and making significant changes, in order to maintain business and thrive in a new business normal. For some, the changes caused by the pandemic have resulted in new business ideas, and an ability to reach a wider audience.

Small Businesses are Modifying Spaces and Accommodating Employees

According to the Megaphone report, COVID-19 caused majority of small businesses to make significant changes in their operations. Most businesses (70.8%) had to change their operations to include things like personal protective equipment, new safety protocols, and telework since March 2020.

When small business owners were asked what changes they had made with their business, 43.1% said they began providing protective equipment (PPE) for workers, 34.4% said they began teleworking, 29.4% said they revised employee policies and procedures, and 20.4% said they began providing new services to support the community during the crisis.

COVID-19

Small Business Owners are Adapting to Provide Services Online

With an understanding that brick and mortar stores may not be able to reopen for some time, many small business owners began taking the steps to transition their services online. Before the pandemic, Jennifer Jones, owner of Cosmopolitan Plated in Arlington, Virginia, used interactive cooking activities to build and strengthen communities. But, when her kitchen was forced to close, she didn’t know what to do.

 

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