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Boom or Bust: COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Small Businesses

The nearly yearlong coronavirus pandemic has already taken hundreds of thousands of lives across India and the rest of the world, and thousands more will likely fall victim in the coming months and that is no news. While the fear of the pandemic doesn’t seem to reduce, the pressure of maintaining our work and life balance is increasing.

However unbelievably tragic as this may be, one shouldn’t forget that many Indians are suffering economically as well. There is no doubt that the virus’s effect has been hit hard all over the world and to get a feeling of its devastating impacts, look no farther than the hard-hit small-business community.

The Virus has effectively made many small businesses shut down, some temporarily and others forever. But, during this past holiday shopping season in the midst of the raging pandemic, online business is booming as more and more people shop from the comfort of their couches rather than actually entering shopping malls and physical stores.

Well, talking about the economic impact the corona virus has had on Small Businesses:

The virus has sent ripples through the community and the personal life of small business owners. Business owners are not quite sure when or if things will get back to normal.

Corona virus had almost Instant Impact on small business owners because the beauty of small businesses are that it moves quickly and easily on demand as the market changes. But unfortunately, on the flip side of things, because so many small businesses are lean and are dependent on existing resources. Without the resources and baseless budget, they struggle to survive with the money on hand.

Small businesses certainly felt the impact of coronavirus first and continue to feel its impact disproportionately. The future of almost all small businesses is up in the air.

It’s true that the COVID-19 crisis has had a devastating effect on the national economy, but not all businesses are struggling. 

In fact, some are booming.

In that case, some small businesses are seeing lots of new and returning customers. With a wide range of businesses creatively figuring out how to adjust to Covid, it’s not a shock that some businesses have seen accomplishment in this new scenario also. Businesses that help people socially distance themselves from others (Like online services, canned goods, delivery services, game makers, cleaning services, Fitness equipment companies, mask makers), retailers that help people to eat and drink at home and medical care services, are some of the few sectors that have thrived during this pandemic.

Thinking about what could have been done to save the small business, it’s hard to tell because we didn’t know enough of how this Covid acted during the beginning stage of the pandemic. Since we know better now, in retrospect, we didn’t concentrate on how the stimulus packages should have allocated funds to support small businesses when they were shut down. Many stimulus packages were funded up in large organizations and banks that didn’t require support. It’s not enough to simply close down independent companies without offering help during the whole time of the lock down. Every Independent businesses and essential workers could have been financially upheld during the whole time of lockdown.

However, with Covid vaccine campaigns being inclined up in states all over the country, there is hope within the small business community that a crucial moment has been reached in the months-long battle against the infection. However, it actually might take few more months before these businesses can completely restart their full business operations.

-Miss. Sushma Byraiah
  Assistant Professor, Department of MBA