Now Is the Time for Main Street Shops to Go Digital

from Wired

AS MANHATTAN BRACED for lockdown in early March, the main street of Fredonia, New York, was still buzzing with activity. The town had been chosen as the location for season five of Small Business Revolution, a TV series hosted by Amanda Brinkman in which the shops in a particular community get a makeover, and filming was underway. “We wondered if Covid would end up showing up in the narrative of season five,” Brinkman mused. Now, “the entire season is going to be about how we were able to help these businesses through this crisis.” As the chief brand officer of Deluxe, a small business financial services company, Brinkman has long been devoted to helping those companies serve their communities and adapt to ever-changing commercial and digital landscapes. The coronavirus pandemic has forced many to evolve overnight or risk going under, and she’s working hard to help.

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  1. The greatest challenge, that the article mentions so well, is “pivoting the business model to focus onto an online presence”. For many businesses (retail specifically) this is relatively easier than businesses that rely predominantly on providing a service. The landscape of the online marketplace makes it easier in general to not only reach the small business’s “regular market” but they can also reach out to other individuals that would not ordinarily buy from them – be it clothes or a small mom and pop eatery that is now partnered with the likes of DoorDash or UberEats.

    But again, it is hard to provide a service remotely when it needs to be done face to face. Take for instance physical therapy. Yes the appointment can be done through something such as Tele-Health, but there is a difficulty that goes along with it. For those that need physical therapy, the aspect of actually being in the PT office and doing the physical work provides a greater benefit than that for those who may not commit 100% to the new “normal” of doing these online appointments. That, and another large part to physical therapy is which the therapist works on the patient after they do their routine. With the online appointments, this pivotal part into the healing process cannot be done.

    Another difficulty, I feel that the article does not necessarily mention is that for those going to the online marketplace may very well use the larger corporations to get what they need. Brand loyalty does not really exist anymore, people will go for what is easier and faster.

  2. In working at a small business over the past four years when I am at home, I began to have concerns over what was going to happen. Big companies have a plethora of resources and ways to sell their products online or ship them, but smaller businesses tend to stay local and have much more limited resources. This article suggested that these shops take their business online and reach out to a larger customer base in an effort to stay afloat, but it still makes me wonder what can businesses that are service based do at this time? The place that I have worked at is a local dog grooming business that relies solely off of customers coming into the stores and getting their dogs groomed or washing them themselves (one of our additional services). However, with the social distancing measures in place this is not a possibility, and it got me wondering what could be done in order to help the store. Though the article also mentioned having a virtual class, again this does not apply to many businesses like a dog groomer. When it comes to the businesses that are able to take an online approach like selling their products to customers online, another concern is whether or not they will even be able to compete with the top competitor in the industry, Amazon. The convenience of Amazon makes it hard to choose another company, even when you know that it will benefit your local community more, because it offers great deals and very fast shipping. I think in order for the companies with the option of online retail to make it work, it is going to take a lot of encouragement to get people to order from local shop rather than just go with the convenience and familiarity of Amazon.

  3. The recent coronavirus outbreak has been a nightmare for small businesses around the world. With most countries shutting down everything, small businesses are finding it harder and harder to succeed with everyone staying home and avoiding unnecessary shopping trips. Small businesses have been hit very hard with some experts predicting that in America there could be around 15,000 permanent retail store closures in 2020. . The Economic Policy Institute is predicting that the COVID-19 outbreak could wipe out three million jobs from the U.S. economy before this summer. . This is a hard hit for small businesses to take because they have such small capitals to have a step back like this to occur. According to a recent Goldman Sachs survey of 1,500 small business owners, more than 50% of them said they did not think that they could continue operating their businesses for more than three months if these current conditions continue. Many companies are going to be forced to adapt if they want to survive.
    That is what the main argument of this article was about and how small businesses are going to have to make themselves some sort of online presence. Whether it is just simple online shopping or apps that allow for quicker ordering or faster pick up. With everyone social distancing themselves and not going out, it is harder for a small business to keep its name out there for people to find. Everyone is looking for something to do because no one wants to be home so of course, people are going to be surfing the web and that is why companies need to have an online presence. Companies need to stay viable for their clientele. According to the article, “The key to remaining viable, Brinkman said, is to be searchable and active online. People everywhere want to be supporting small businesses, but they need to be able to find them.” The whole company has taken a technological shift in a way in which even the older generations are being forced to learn how to use it even if they do not want to. It is becoming necessary for most jobs nowadays. here

  4. Time and time again, especially in recent history, success has been found in technology. Whether it be a streamer streaming a video game fully online or a physical company with online infrastructure, online is the future of the industry. For younger generations in particular, your whole life is hinged on technology. Older generations would argue that we would be hopeless without it, but like many other things the internet is a tool, a VERY powerful tool at that. It has the power to process mass information, connect people across vast distances, and use algorithms to tailor products to you. All of which are important attributes for a company. Especially during a time where foot traffic or the viability of being outside is diminished, your online presence is imperative, as the article states. Since the shift to online platforms has been extensive, to ensure that a store doesn’t go out of business, you must make sure that people can find you in a web search. With different algorithms targeting people with relevant searches, if a business that appear in one of those searches it will be very beneficial for them. The downfall of a physical business is that it’s advertisement is limited to people that pass by that shop. However, with an online infrastructure, it has the ability to extend to much farther reaches. This truly emphasizes the necessity to have an online model in this age. This also makes room for more expansive PR. As the article states, “businesses can do well by doing good”, that brings in a good reputation for the business itself.
    Going along with this, the accessibility is much stronger for all the customers and any constituents. By simply having a phone number or email listed under your online business, your customers can contact you from anywhere and anytime if you deem it so, allowing you to have a much deeper connection with your clientele. Overall, the usage of an online platform allows you to build your business on a grander scale simply due to the amount of people you will be able to reach, having a significant leg up on business not using one.

  5. Despite all the troubles these events have caused, it will offer a huge opportunity for the smaller businesses to blow up. Its funny, I’m starting to see more website adds on Hulu and on tv when I’m with my little brother. I’m sure they’ll be bringing in bucket loads of money during and after this pandemic. I worry about the smaller business in the future.
    As Tim has mentioned as the first comment, we spoke about this with amazon in the example. The model had amazon as our distributor as we stood back after we got a manufacturer outside of the country. Here is where I think smaller businesses will struggle, their customers over amazon will never know its, let’s say mom and pop inc. Those customers think it’s just from amazon, even there it’ll be hard to sell their product because of their positioning on the search. For example, do you go to the 2nd page of a google search or just try other keywords? Plus let’s say the stuffed animals that mom and pop inc. are selling faster than hotcakes, Amazon will come along, make their own version of it, and put it on the first page. When it comes to these little things I think it would be more beneficial to invest in a website and advertisement in the long run. That way when this settles, hopefully soon, mom and pop inc don’t have to worry about amazon. If they really don’t want to create their own website then eBay is also an option. Hopefully when we can come out of this mom and pop inc will do their best to stay viable by keeping up with the tech. truth is many won’t open their doors again. It’s sad but on the bright side that leaves space for the opportunity for new businesses to come in, ones that will be more rooted in tech moving the industrial market into a tech space. Maybe well even start to see the rise of the new jobs from these small start-ups after the pandemic is over. Malls will become a thing of the past, hello to online shopping be it food, clothes, or anything else under the sun.

  6. My first thought when I saw this article was the examples of main street shops that we have been using for antitrust law. Particularly, Elijah’s toy shop where I get my Buzz Lightyear dolls. This example plays into the article as well, because the point of the exercise was to show the need to go online for sales. This article brings up the necessity to not only bring their storefronts online but onto their own website. Frankly, I do think that an online storefront is needed for nearly all businesses at this point, but many cannot afford to start up their own website and advertise it. If they do have that kind of money, then this route make more sense.

    Another criticism I have with straying away from Amazon is that most people would look on Amazon for what they are looking for first. So, if you are selling a lamp or chair, Amazon will be the first place your potential consumers are looking. Amazon will likely provide an option that will undercut whatever price that the you can afford to sell for. This would decrease revenue, unless your lamps or chairs have a unique and distinguishable quality that surpasses anyone else’s.

    Lastly, I think that main street shops still have a future in the economy, along with malls. From personal experience, I go to the mall to browse, I rarely go in looking to buy something in particular, and of course I often walk out with something. A mall or main street has long been trending towards being an experience rather than a shopping trip. Weekends are the prime time for this behavior, so limited hours during the week and longer weekend hours for their physical storefronts makes sense to me, while having an online presence will keep their sales up so they can continue to be profitable.

  7. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how fragile businesses are, especially businesses that rely on brick and mortar to operate. This pandemic will eventually end, but the fragility of brick and mortar businesses will only increase as time goes on. The main issue for brick and mortar businesses is that it is more convenient for customers to order their products online while at their homes, rather than having to travel to a store to purchase the goods they want. If a potential customer travels to a store and doesn’t find the products they wanted, then they would have to continue traveling to other locations to find what they wanted, this process wastes time that could have be used for some other use. However, if the same customer was searching for a product online, then they would be able to quick switch between various websites in search of what they were looking for, and all of this can be done from the comfort of one’s home. It is easy to see which of these two processes are more likely to be used by customers. Thus, it should be the goal of many small businesses to develop a presence on the internet.

    The presence that a business should have on the internet is not as simple as it used to be, one can’t just make a business website and leave it at that. These days a business needs to be able to generate tariff to its website, so that it can become one of the first websites that shows up on any search result for the product or service the company provides. The best way to be in the top results of searches, is to have an active presence on social media websites, such as Facebook. If one can get a very engaged customer base on social media, this will cause said customers to visit the company website, thus increasing the websites searchable, which in turn will cause more traffic to the website, as it rises to the top of the search results. This will cause a businesses customer base to expand far beyond the scope of the local reach a business would if it were only relegated to brick and mortar operations.

    It is clear from the previously mentioned information that converting a business into a digitally based business has many advantages for both customers and companies. These advantages and the disadvantages involved with either staying strictly brick and mortar or having a weak presence in the digital space, will only grow as tie moves forward. The COVID pandemic has only sped up the transfer to the new business model, thus it is important for any company that wants to not only overcome the present financial difficulties, but also future, to make the switch to a digitally focused business model.

  8. This article is extremely important right now, and I find it very interesting as my parents own a business of their own. The pandemic has shown how fragile small businesses are, and in Finland, the sports teams are in bad shape as well. Many teams that are not in the top division are losing heaps of money and revenue, and these teams do not have the deep pockets to come out from this crisis. The team in my town has done remarkably well in this situation. They have gone more online, advertised their merch, offered to go grocery shopping, and even do farm work. This is the type of flexibility small businesses need to have in order to survive this.
    The importance of businesses converting to online is obvious, but I think it will drive the small businesses down eventually. If you want to order something online, you would most likely order it from a large company that is able to drive down their prices, rather than pay too much money just because the business is “local” or important to you. On the internet, many small businesses would lose their identity, which has been one way they have been able to fight against larger companies.
    Malls have been example of how the in-person stores are dying out. While there is some magic about going into the store of H&M and browsing there, it is just so much easier to sit home and look around various different online stores for the exact thing you want and need.

  9. This article gives very needed motivation to the smaller business that are be affected right now by the corona virus. Many smaller shops with an older generation of people that run them may be struggling to know what to do because they never thought of taking their local business online. When the article talks about this being the time to do it, it is completely right. Many of these older shops may have been getting away without digitizing their business and expanding out past their local community because people had the ability to get out and go to them, now they do not. If they do not try to make an online shop, a lot of places will soon lose everything unless they have an extreme amount of cash on hand to last until this overhyped pandemic is over. With these companies now online, they are now going to have an increased amount of people that are able to go to the website and click it. This may result in them getting even more business than they are used to. The main problem with this now being not only do these businesses need to understand how to set up an online shop, but now they need to have the power to ship it to them. Shipping may sound like the least of there worries, but without proper space and enough help, this can prove to me difficult if you do not have a framework in place to deal with this. One major concern I have about more businesses going online is that it is going to displace a lot of workers that will have to find new jobs. If these businesses find out that they do not even need a store front anymore, the people that work in them will be out of a job sooner than later. Although another job will be created in another field to assist that online business, the one that is currently occupied will be gone. This same fear goes for the people getting laid off from these businesses and them realizing that they can make do without them. If they see that it can run smoothly, they will be out of a job just because of unplanned and unfortunate “experiment” of what would happen if we cannot meet in person.

  10. Covid-19 has ravaged the world’s economy and exposed the world to the difficulties that come about when someone is not being educated in the ways of the internet can impact you and your family. The brick and mortar stores are dying and have been becoming more and more obsolete even before the coronavirus. Now with the coronavirus taking its toll on the world, we have distortions in supply chains and the closure of all “non-essential” businesses. People are out of work and without their employment or without their business working at full capacity we see the unemployment rate skyrocketing. For years people have run their business and had no reason to close their doors besides socioeconomic reasons. Now, we have an external factor which is that has an indefinite termination date of the quarantine that is restricting the economy of the United States to work properly. Many businesses are thinking of creating an online presence as it is the only way t source revenue without the availability of a physical store for people to shop in. Small businesses are changing to support the feature of offering online classes and personalized deliveries. It is safe to say that this transition to an online portion of selection should have been implemented long ago for many of these small businesses.

  11. Sometimes I just think about what we could have been doing at this time instead of being in quarantine. For instance, today I could have been watching Black Widow in the movie theatre, and maybe even going to see it a second time tomorrow. I feel like Covid is just ruining a lot of things for a lot of people. I like how this article mentions small businesses as well. They got some money from the Stimulus Package but I still feel like they are overlooked or just not heard enough. The author of the posted stated, “she explained the full extent of challenges that small businesses across the country are facing right now, and the steps some are taking to stay afloat not just this spring but hopefully long after. The key to remaining viable, Brinkman said, is to be searchable and active online.”
    Something the author of the post also stated was, “People everywhere want to be supporting small businesses, but they need to be able to find them.” Now, this is something I can seriously relate to. As a black person in America, our culture makes it a staple to support black businesses. Of course, that does not mean that we will never go to non-black person business, it just means we understand the adversities and the challenges that come with being black and especially being a black business owner so it’s a very liberating experience when you know you are supporting a black owner and their business. But during quarantine, it is kind of hard to do this, and it hurts to know that the business I want to succeed is slowly going out of business.
    The end of the post does indeed provide us with some hope for the small businesses when stated that, ”“Many businesses that previously thought of themselves as just local businesses are now able to be global businesses—if they have the right online presence,” she said. “We’re talking to a lot of these organizations that say, ‘Why didn’t we do this before?'” But a downside to this is the funds needed to make a business a “global business.” Also, what if some businesses cannot become a global business. For instance, something like a bakery. Some Customers want their baked goods to be fresh, and with deliveries happening fresh desserts aren’t always an option.

  12. Reading this article immediately makes me think of our in class discussions and shows the relevance that they have in today’s economy. We discussed the advantages to bringing a hypothetical local toy shop online and the steps it would need to take in order to survive in an environment with little physical contact. If done correctly, integrating an online platform to a physical store not only protects you from situations like the one we are in right now, but expands your clientele to anyone with internet access, rather than just those that can make it to your store. This has the potential of bringing exponential growth to your business, and it would be an absolute shame (and in most cases detrimental) for any organizations to not take advantage of the opportunities brought by ecommerce. Increased usage of technology allows for more efficient processes and allows people to help each other, so we see a lot of benefit in the majority of small businesses pivoting to the platform. I also think that the mention of Amazon is extremely important here. A larger online presence from smaller businesses will jump start the process into revising the regulations surrounding online business, and will be a driving factor in creating a fairer system. Many smaller businesses will see that as they move online, the room for competition is severely curtailed by toxic business practices from some of the largest players in the space. Amazon has found out how to monopolize ecommerce by reaching into several different spaces and pointing everyone back to Amazon as the exclusive shopping space online. Hopefully, the discontent of businesses who have invested heavily into moving online is going to jumpstart the process of updating our antitrust framework to account for online activity. Unfortunately, the dominance of Amazon means that the profit margins of these institutions will be far less than they could be, given that the system is essentially rigged against them as it stands. It may slightly increase their local activity, though, as people familiar with the physical business will now have more convenient options for shopping. This could be especially beneficial to the organizations that are based in densely populated areas. I hope that this new change will give us the much needed push to regulate the online environment.

  13. This article is another example of how important adaptation to the digital space is during this coronavirus pandemic. Many companies that have never dealt with the digital realm are seeing themselves trying it out for the first time now, especially smaller business that have been getting hit the hardest during this quarantine. Many small businesses cannot afford being closed for so long, and so the switch to the online sector is necessary in most cases to keep a company afloat. Many challenges present themselves to businesses at a time like this, and this article prevents one of the people helping these businesses transition as efficiently as possible, TV show host Amanda Brinkman. She is aiding many small shops in Fredonia, New York in making themselves known online and reaching their customers, along with more incoming globally. The entire season of her show Small Business Revolution was able to deal with coronavirus related issues, which just goes to show how many businesses are having issues with quarantine and the transition. Brinkman claims the key to staying afloat during a time like this is creating a reachable online presence, one that’s streamlined and works efficiently and is updated to current standards. It seems to be a general consensus from many that this is the most important driving change hitting many industries now more than ever, as the shift to the digital realm opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. And with many businesses prevented from operating like normal, there is truly no other option when it comes to staying afloat in a time like this. Not only is it allowing companies to work like normal, it is also opening these companies up to a much bigger and diverse market, and with many more smaller businesses making the shift, it will be interesting to see how the digital realm adapts to the huge influx of online traffic.

  14. I actually think some of the changes that this pandemic is bringing to us may be for the good. The fact that many companies and businesses will be forced to modernize and utilize many tools that they previously haven’t only works to be a benefit to society.

    For example, I think modernizing businesses is essential. For businesses to not have an option to order through a website is already somewhat of an issue in my eyes. Maybe they’re going for some certain type of environment, but I think it would be good for them to do this, as it might increase sales due to the pure convenience of it. Not having a website in general is another issue in my eyes. I’m sure many people would like to at least view a menu online.

    Again, I’m not trying to sell this as some weird “benefits of coronavirus” piece. I just would like to assume that the changes that this pandemic causes might be good in the long run. I mean, as an example, we’ve already seen / are seeing this in effect with schools. Schools who don’t adapt will, in my opinion, be left behind. Same goes here. Restaurants that adapt to this situation will come out on top, while those who don’t will fall. Actually, this probably just applies to any company or person during this time. Those who change and make the correct adjustments will succeed.

  15. I feel if your small business has not gone digital in the current year, you are probably not going to do very well in the future as the world now revolves around technology, and In the midst of Covid-19 there couldn’t be a better time for a small business to go digital. In this article from Wired it explains exactly what I just said, “Why businesses need to go digital”, during this pandemic most small businesses had to close there doors or majorly downsize in order to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, this really has hurt a lot of small businesses that probably dont have to much of an online presents, Small businesses today need to realize they are able to be more then just a local business, companies need to be searchable and be active online. This is very important as someone like myself who uses the internet for almost everything, most of the businesses I use I find online. I feel most kids my age or younger do the same thing that why it can be crucial to have that online activity, also like I mentioned before since most small businesses have been forced to close the doors the only way they can still sell there product or service is by using digital resources like the internet. I feel the Covid-19 pandemic gave small businesses that may have been reluctant to go digital a push into realizing they need to use technology to there benefit. I feel within the next 20 years all businesses will have gone digital in order to keep up with competition which can play a major role a businesses decisions. Amanda Birkman who hosts the TV show “small businesses revolution” gave the tips for small businesses in this article, she sees it as successfully pivoted online can offer services that customers want which makes perfect sense as consumers have been forced to use the internet during this pandemic.

  16. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced small businesses to adapt to digital and has really shown how technology is able to keep them afloat. Businesses are now able to establish an online presence which allows them to make deliveries and advertise to a much larger audience. During this lockdown, it would be near impossible for a small business to get enough customers without going digital. The article also mentions offering services such as “personalized deliveries and virtual classes.” During the pandemic, I have relied on stores such as Shoprite and Walmart for deliveries as shopping in person as I live in a household with persons that are at higher risk for the virus. I have also been able to continue my classes virtually which is great, considering a decade ago with probably would not have been a possibility.
    However, it’s hard to not mention the many small businesses that would struggle to continue operations even with a digital presence. Not all businesses are able to allocate enough resources to make deliveries or be able to perform their services virtually. For example, many of the family-owned restaurants nearby weren’t able to swap over to deliveries due to lack of staffing. Barbershops in specific have no way to conduct business during the lockdown without endangering themselves and customers. The government has signed in the CARES Act which contains many clauses that will help bring relief to small businesses. This is the only way small businesses that can not digitalize will be able to endure the pandemic. I believe it is important that we as consumers support small businesses around us to help them endure these tough times.

  17. It is an interesting perspective that besides the negative impact the spreading virus has caused to many businesses and corporations, that there is still a positive side to it that appear to be largely ignored by many. This positive side is as insinuated in this article, that shops have now embraced going online and with that, they now have a much wider market than previously. This is because of the fact that when the shop is online, it has the potential of reaching to many potential buyers from different parts of the world, unlike when it is operating a physical location. The physical location has only access to a small market located within the area the shop is operating from. In addition, these businesses are able to cut cost that comes with operating physical shops such as reduced rent, reducing workforce and hence lessor amount is paid to labor and so on.

    However, I feel that this transition to online business may have far much worse negative effects than the positive effects that the businesses are enjoying. This is because such a transition is a disruption that is affecting many other sectors of the economy negatively such that in the long run, even the wider market the shops can now access online may cease to exist. For example, when shops operate from online, it means that real estate companies that manage the rental spaces will have reduced income and will have to cut down on workforce hence rendering more people jobless. Also, when shops operating online will require few workers and thus yet another cause of job losses. Eventually, so many people will have lost jobs and have no income and thus will not be able to buy the commodities these businesses will be selling online. Therefore, while there are positive effects to the business operating online, a widespread shift to online operations for most businesses may have more negative effects than positive to the general economy.

  18. It is wonderful that the shops in Fredonia, NYC have Amanda Brinkman to help them pivot and adapt to the ‘New Normal’ but not all small business owners have a consultant to help them shift their business model. This article provides great jumping off points and advice to those business owners looking to adapt. Although, as a marketer, I know that nativating the vast options available in the digital world can be almost overwhelming and for small businesses entering this realm for the first time in a time crisis, it is likely extraordinarily stressful.

    As mentioned in the article, many people want to support local business during this time and as our community is looking for ways to give back, I think lending free consulting to local business is a great way for marketers & digital consultants to give back to the community. This has personally inspired me as I have been looking for ways to give back and I think this is how I could help. As I unfortunately don’t have the sewing skills of my friends who are creating & donating masks. If marketers & digital consultants donated some of their time to assist businesses in their area, it could make a large impact on how many businesses get through this difficult time.

    It would be wonderful if we can take it one step further and create ‘digital malls’ for local businesses to provide a central hub of traffic. For example, if large companies like Simon Property Group, which owns many malls across the states, repurposed their website to also serve as an e-commerce platform, it could benefit many of the small businesses that reside within their walls. By doing this, Simon Property Group would simply be staying on par with the many Big Tech and Fin Tech companies that are adjusting their services to help SMBs move their businesses online – as mentioned in this article:

  19. With a lot of retail stores and restaurants no longer being able to serve their customers in person, there has been a push for these businesses to transition selling online to continue their operations. This is a change that is going to be sudden for a lot of businesses and will cause some issues in the beginning, but I think that overall will be good for these businesses in the future. With the whole world already starting to transition to the preference of purchasing online before the pandemic even started, with former big businesses such as Toys R’ Us having to shut down their stores because they couldn’t keep up with the competition of online stores such as Amazon. A lot of other small businesses have also been affected by this transition before the pandemic even started, and although it will be hard for them initially, this situation can eventually set them up for future success because of this necessary adjustment. During this crisis, a lot of people are willing to support their local businesses now that they are seeing that if they don’t these businesses will close, so this gives them a great opportunity to reach out to their local customers and get them involved in their online business while normally that acquiring of online customers would have been a lot more difficult.

    Small businesses can provide something unique to their customers which is why people would go to them over a larger businesses chain. These unique traits from these businesses as well as a market of people looking for ways to support their local community in these hard times is the perfect opportunity for them to reach existing and future customers to continue their business. Not only does this help them during this tough time when they would otherwise be forced to do nothing and probably end up closing their store, but it also sets them up for their future where they have an established online following that they can continue to reach to, or for things like restaurants they can expand their presence and get more people to come into their restaurants in the future once the quarantine is ended. Businesses that want to be able to successfully operate in the future are going to need an online presence to attract customers, and building that presence in a time of need where people are most willing to listen to their messages is a great opportunity for businesses that are currently struggling. Obviously the pandemic is still going to be hurtful to a lot of small businesses but it is forcing businesses to adapt to a new way of marketing and presenting their businesses which can help them out if they are willing to do the work to make these changes. Social media is also become a huge part of our lives long before the pandemic has occurred but with so many people now doing everything online, promoting yourself through social media is more noticeable and recognized by other online. Overall, the situation with the pandemic is causing a lot of businesses to change how they operate their businesses, but some of these changes that are needed to be implemented can be very beneficial to these companies in the future.

  20. COVID-19 has brought upon a lot of struggles for small business owners where some are facing going under. Amanda Brinkman has been able to help some of these owners in Fredonia, New York prepare for the changes that the world has to face. I think that she is doing a great job by helping these businesses as many do not know what to do especially in such a short time period. Even though she cannot help every small business in the world, I think that she offers a lot of good advice in order to help everyone. It was mentioned that these businesses should have an online platform and be able to be easily found. During these hard times it is very valuable for the communities to support and order from the small businesses rather than the bigger corporations, like Amazon. I think that it is very important to support these smaller businesses as it brings the money into your community and not into a billionaire’s lap. Many small businesses did not even have websites or online ordering before the pandemic, so in a way I think that it was a benefit or eyeopener for them. These smaller businesses are able to gain more views and potential customers which boosts their business overall. These businesses are also able to give back to their community with the funding that they receive from our purchases which is an amazing thing. A simple meal that you ordered can help raise money to feed other people or even make supplies that are necessary at this time. Many large corporations are doing a lot less for the world than the smaller businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. I think that this is a major eyeopener for customers of these larger businesses to see that they are not sending back any help into the communities of their customers. These larger businesses should be able to donate money, supplies or meals with barely even touching their profits, but yet they are not doing as much as smaller businesses that are close to going under. Overall, I think that the small businesses are doing great for their communities and that this new online platform will help their sales skyrocket making them more successful.

  21. Things are changing gradually around and it is time to catch up for once. The yesterday we once knew is not more and for this reason people have to wake up. The article “Now Is the Time for Main Street Shops to Go Digital” serves as wakeup call because reality is about to hit the world. Long ago, people did use to shop from catalogs, walk in stores, order things via phones and fax. They had no idea as to whether e-commerce was coming to change the way people shop. It is true that people like to see what they buy but looking at technology nowadays, everything can be ordered online. Technology has shifted to secured online transactions and people feel safe putting their bank information online. The culture of today’s world is convenience. The time is now for main street shop to go digital. Business owners should expand their operations to incorporate online transaction. The few companies that are doing online sales are very successful. There is a high competitive advantage if a store is digital. Looking at COVID-19, lots of businesses were hit with loss of revenue because of the traditional street shop that they had. The businesses that online capabilities were very successful. Expanding to online platform gives lots of benefits.

  22. As we prepared for the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic people are realizing how unprepared we were for an event to this magnitude of destruction. During the lockdown in Manhattan in early March, the main street of Fredonia was still very active. This location was chosen by the TV show series Small Business Revolution in which shops will get a makeover and filming would be going on on that. This TV show series thought it would be showing up in season five of the series. This series is going to have to help show how the business will need help to make it through this crisis. They wanted to be devoted to helping companies that need to switch their company structure entirely to help prevent the downfall of the company. In a recent interview, Brickman was able to explain the challenge facing small businesses in the country during this pandemic. They plane hopes they will stay running well past the spring and hopefully much after. The biggest importance is the use of the internet and to know how to become successful for an online presence. The more searchable and active they are online the more businesses they will receive. The more feature they put on the online shopping feature the more customizable each customer experience will be coming in and out. During a time like this pandemic, a lot of the way we become comfortable with will be changing greatly. The new ways could be very successful during this time.

  23. Since 2014, I have had a job in a mom and pop- bakery working part-time because of school. When the COVID scare began in March, the bakery was actually forced to close for an extended period of time, and for a business with only three workers, my boss could not really afford that. The other location has a lot more workers, the venue is larger than the one I work in, and generally has more volume so it was able to stay open. When I texted my coworkers, they are speaking as if it will not last until Christmas which is the day where we usually gain the most revenue. We rely on the customers who come in everyday for their breakfast or coffee, however, that is not happening right now. I was not planning on working there for much longer, however, it was nice to be able to come home on breaks and work a few shifts for extra cash and now I do not believe I will be able to do that. My boss does not even know how to update his website (it has been the same since I started), so I do not see the small business becoming a “global business,” as Brinkman states in the article. We do not “..have the right online presence.”

    One thing my boss did that stimulated more business even during the height of COVID was “..leaning into social media…” by creating an Instagram page. With this, employees in both store locations were able to follow and share with their friends, so they could share with their friends, and so on. In my opinion, this is the only reason why the business is hanging on.

    In a time like COVID, it is important for administrative agencies such as the CDC to make claims ad inform the public about the health crisis. It is strange to me to watch the news and see non-qualified people speaking about infectious disease even though they have no previous education on the topic. Isn’t that why Congress created such agencies under the Department of Health and Human Services in the first place?

    Brinkman’s explanation for their television show in Fredonia comes as a surprise to me. One of my friends goes to the State University of New York at Fredonia and when I questioned her about the town atmosphere off campus, she said something different from Brinkman. She mentioned that the only small businesses that stayed alive during COVID were the ones chosen for the television show. With that, one can conclude that the only reason they stayed open is because of the funding from the show. Most of the others have either closed or still have not been able to reopen. The show was originally meant to build up the area (including the surrounding area of Dunkirk) because both areas are very poor. The main goal was to improve on the businesses there and rebuild, in a sense, so there is a fresher look to the area. So when Brinkman states that “…the entire season is going to be about how we were able to help these businesses through this crisis,” to me, it just means that they zeroed in on a few businesses and are speaking on behalf of the well-being for the whole town. The goal was to improve on the city, however, what they are actually going to accomplish is fixing up a small area.

  24. COVID-19 was a shock to us all because at one moment we were going out not giving a care or thinking about how lucky we are that it has not affected us, to the next of being in lock down during a global pandemic in a matter of only a few months. This virus caused a pause in the world. No one left their houses, no one was spending money, and this meant that businesses were staring to loose revenue and profit, leading to debt and bankruptcy. The type of businesses that can succeed during this trying time are online businesses, where people do not have to come in contact with anyone to buy anything. Personally, my family and I bought most items during this pandemic with Amazon and other online companies. The only time we left the house was to get food from the grocery store. We did not go out to eat at the local mom and pop shop or go into town and see our friends who owned a clothing store. Stores needed a change in order to survive this obstacle and that change is going digital.

    Brinkman explained how we “want to be supporting small businesses, but they need to be able to find them.” She then spoke about how many businesses once refereed to themselves as local, but our now global because of how they established there online presence. Not only can small businesses thrive off of launching online, but they can expand themselves into something they never thought possible.

    In a world that is constantly changing, we need to be changing with it. Businesses need to make that change as well. By going online, they will reach a bigger audience and can make a greater profit, even whilst in a time like this. By establishing an online presence, businesses can cater to their customers in more ways. There can be more ranges of what that business sells, more options related to color, size or quantity, and the most important aspect of online shopping is anyone can get it from anywhere. It is understood that changing a platform is challenging and that is why it is better to start out small and go big. You start with a small business that is local, then move yourself online, making sure to advertise, ship in states and eventually move to a global platform. It is all about how successful you want to be and needing to make the changes that allow you to profit.

    The world is a different place than it was just a few years ago and especially now during this difficult time. Technology is the way in which we can get through this difficult time. Not only are businesses moving online, but so are schools and classes. Technology is the way in which these times can be less strenuous and it all depends on how we use it to our advantage.

  25. Moving your small business onto a primarily online shop will be difficult to achieve for a lot of places. Establishing an online presence will be difficult while you also lose customers of yours who are old fashion and prefer in person shopping to online ordering if you go fully online. The adjustment also will cost more to advertise online to get yourself out while still funding your in person shop to traffic 2 forms of income into your business. Corona virus has helped companies to realize the digital transition will eventually become necessary and it will be easier to achieve as soon as possible. The virus also makes it more difficult to currently transition to online primarily because the funds for most shops are low. After businesses go online they will open themselves up to a wider customer audience but they need to obtain marketing online to achieve that. Technology is the future and once businesses can all adjust they will be thriving like they never have but is the right time to adjust right now. I believe the switch needs to happen soon but personally don’t think that in a time like this it gives the business the best chance to stay alive. If the business has spare money and time I think they should while a business who is moving at a week to week base needs to continue to stick to in person and not begin to risk their whole company. If a shop is on the verge of going out of business it is a tough choice to make because online can propel them but they will also need to put their remaining resources towards it. It is all a situational call but for most shops I feel waiting until you are up and moving a bit better than currently would be your best time to make the change. Technology is the future and while in person shops will always have people coming in weather it be tourists or regulars in the city, you broaden your horizons online. If you believe you will connect just as well to customers online then make the switch as soon as possible but if you feel you will struggle to adjust and aren’t in the most tech savvy environment than wait until the right time to make the change.

  26. The Covid-19 pandemic has hit many businesses hard and has made it difficult to survive. Many small businesses are going out of business because they did not have any customers for several months. With the lockdown and sudden stop of the economy, many of the businesses lost revenue because they relied their business on customers coming into their stores. As stated in the article, Amanda Brinkman believes that companies that have successfully pivoted online have been able to keep revenue coming even during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    We have seen through recent history that companies who are keeping up with the technology available have been very successful. An example of this can be Blockbuster and Netflix. Back in the early 2000’s, Netflix wanted to partner with Blockbuster. Netflix proposed that the two companies could provide the best movie experiences for all customers. However, Blockbuster denied this partnership and as we all know, Blockbuster is no longer in business. Whereas Netflix is now very mainstream, and the company sells their subscription to 193 million people word wide including 73 million people from the United States. Netflix was able to take movies and tv series from CD’s and put them online. By doing so they have been able to make their services more convenient to their customers as well expand their market globally, instead of restricting themselves to only selling to people from the United States.

    Amanda Brinkman also argues these points stating that businesses who take transition themselves online are able to take their local business and grow to become a global business, with the right online presence. Many people are looking to help small companies during the Covid-19 pandemic however, clients need to be able to find these small businesses in order to help them. This is why in modern times, going digital has become so important for many companies to stay relevant or else their competition will steal all their customers. Amanda Brinkman will have to make the shops at the main street of Fredonia go online for them to have a chance to survive this pandemic, for online shopping is the future and malls will be a thing of the past.

  27. The issue in this article that many shops in Manhattan have been struggling in respecting the COVID 19 regulations since small shops were not ready to start selling their products online. Those stores have been struggling since they did not have that much liquidity to invest in a digital platform, either they did not want to invest their liquidity since the customers could easily buy the same products at a cheaper price from a big digital platform like Amazon.

    However, other stores could potentially become bigger and they can be known more through social platforms, and they could get more customers over the United States. Some stores in Manhattan sell singular products that other stores cannot sell or they cannot import such as Italian stores in Little Italy. COVID 19 could be a possible way to improve their business market.

    Many customers that purchase from those stores would probably prefer to purchase online, so they would not take a risk from the pandemic, and they would have a way to promote the store to their friends. COVID-19 could be a way to fully improve those old stores that are around the United States, since a technological advancement usually brings more revenues.

  28. Due to COVID-19 many small businesses and shops are forced to make that hard decision of bringing their business online. For many shop owners they were never interested in relying on the internet to keep their business going. As owners start to navigate their new normal of offering online they may find it helps grow their business and allow it to become more flexible in what they are able to offer. It doesn’t need to be a negative exprenise if you dive into it. Some of these businesses will find that it will bring more people into their store and to the area. This could help a community as a whole. Having your business provide online services gets your business out there to a broader platform and can attract people to look into visiting your business and also visit some of the other small businesses in your community. Also with having your business online you may be able to offer more product than you were providing in store. In today’s world so many shop online. As an active online shopper, especially with 3 young children I believe that adding an online option to your business will only help it grow.

  29. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions of Americans outside of their comfort zones and into their own homes. Work, education, and business is now all primarily conducted online due to the dangerous conditions we face by being in contact with people around us. Everything now online had been in some aspect previously established as a web service. With the one exception of small businesses. These small businesses were established with the goal of serving the surrounding community of the area in which they are located. Transitioning to be a fully online service means that businesses can now be utilized worldwide. If done correctly, this can present many opportunities for small businesses to grow beyond their own scope. However, if the increase in orders cannot be handled due to lack of supplies, shipping materials, or organization, that business will soon close just as quickly as it was opened. Other businesses may not even be able to sell their products online, for example, pet grooming services, art classes, or coffee shops. While these businesses may have other sources of profit from additional products, their main source of income is now diminished because of the inability to sell it online.

    The stores that do survive online can now offer products tailored towards the COVID-19 pandemic. Face masks and hand sanitizers may become top-selling products if the business has the means to produce those items. Additionally, once-ordinary products can now be advertised to fulfill the needs of “work from home” or “stay at home” trends. Now more than ever, sweatpants and desk supplies are in great demand and can be customized to be sold from any small business that previously featured related products. Percentages of profits made from those products can then be donated to local communities struggling due to the pandemic. Having this option may be an incentive for users to purchase products so they, in turn, feel as if they are giving back as well. In the end, adapting to sudden stressful situations quickly is never preferred. For small businesses being forced to shift entirely online, it is important to be prepared for a sharp increase or decrease in sales. Going forward, plans should be created by every new business to combat something like the COVID-19 pandemic in order to be prepared and be able to prosper during uncertain times.

  30. This article brings up the pandemic caused by the Coronavirus and how many stores, big or small, have been affected. But while reading this article, I began to think that the rise of online shopping was inevitable and Coronavirus did not cause it but accelerated the process. Amazon is a perfect example of a dominant online shopping center since they have made going to stores relatively obsolete. It is understandable though, why drive 10 minutes to get something when it can just show up at your door? Especially now with covid, people do not want to leave their homes if they do not have to, so why not have a system that brings the items people want straight to them. Of course this brilliant idea needs to be executed through a website, and that is what this article covers. It explains how small companies in Fredonia, New York have been dealing with making the switch to online and it really puts things into perspective for me. It made me realize that business owners during this pandemic are in serious danger of losing their business and going under. For example, if a business or company does not provide a basic necessity like food or clothes, then many people will not want to go purchase their goods, because they do not want to risk contracting Covid for something trivial. For example, a small flower shop in a small town could get killed without the proper adaptations, because even though they are nice, nobody wants to risk contracting a deadly virus for flowers. However if they are able to adapt, and provide a service that allows online ordering and contact free delivery, then the flower shop can manage to stay afloat. Businesses like video game stores on the other hand, are getting killed. Not only because of people not wanting to contract covid, but because there are so many alternatives to going to a video game store. All game consoles come with the ability to buy games from an online store in the console, so even without covid going on, there is already a better alternative. In conclusion, small businesses should prepare as if covid will go on forever and need to adapt to the times by making an online shopping center.

  31. Over the course of just a few months, over 100,000 small businesses have closed due to Covid-19. These businesses were the cornerstone of neighborhoods and towns but because of their slow or nonexistent transition to an online format, they lost their customers and had to close. As Brinkman said, “people want to be supporting small businesses, but they need to be able to find them”. In this time more than ever, especially since no businesses were allowed to be open, an online presence is vital for the survival of all businesses, and only those businesses who establish an online presence can stay afloat.
    Although it will be nearly impossible to compete with totally online businesses like Amazon, giving your customers the choice to order your products from their couch has no downside. Only Target, Walmart and Best Buy are considered Amazons competitors. This is because all of these companies offer the same services online as Amazon does. Their easily navigable websites, fast shipping times and competitive prices allows them to keep up with Amazon. These companies also maintain an excellent in-person experience if their customers want a face to face shopping trip. Although these are major companies, small businesses should follow their lead. Creating a website and having an online presence can help these smaller businesses increase their audience, which is exactly what they need. In todays world, brand loyalty is a foreign concept, and people will give their business to the most accessible or fastest business available. Driving yourself to the store is a waste of time if you could just pop open your computer and click “confirm purchase”. Personally, if I am looking for a restaurant or a specific thing to buy I will google it and find the closest store available. If your business does not have at least a website you will not get my business, nor the business of anyone else.
    Even the most successful and well-known companies are evolving and adapting to a more online world. For example, McDonalds is doing everything they can to keep up with all the changes in technology. They created an app and a website that makes it quick and easy to order food, and they are planning on spending $300 million on software to adapt to their customers. Once they finalize this, their drive-thru screens and app will change based on individual customers as well as change based on the weather and traffic. However, when companies do not adapt to the ever-changing world they fall behind, no matter how popular they once were. Blockbuster used to be the place to be on a Friday night with kids and adults picking up movies for the weekend and maybe even some candy. Once online streaming programs were made available such as Netflix and Hulu, blockbuster refused to adapt and shortly after became extinct.

  32. As COVID-19 increased and took over the world, many businesses started to shut down, especially small businesses. The pandemic adversely impacted these small businesses the most because they were simply not ready. Many small businesses are set up to help out their local community and do not have a successful online website to sell their products. Because businesses were forced to shut down from the pandemic, their liquidity and profits drastically dropped. Since quarantining started, I realized how many people were talking about the fall of businesses, but nobody was talking about how big businesses were actually profiting more. Because big businesses already had a global and active online website that constantly produces sales, they were prepared and now they have been making more money than ever. For example, let’s look at Amazon; as the pandemic started, Amazon’s “26 percent jump in first-quarter revenue” (Greene 1) was very unexpected but super helpful. Amazon’s online retailing has been stronger than ever and it looks like it will stay that way due to the pandemic. Small businesses that adjust to having a website like big businesses realize that they could make a lot more profit and often ask “ ‘Why didn’t we do this before” (1). Although small businesses are losing money and suffering badly, it also gives them the opportunity to become a worldwide, popular website. For these small businesses having a website could be their outbreak on becoming a successful, global business. Personally, I believe that online shopping is more efficient and a lot easier. I am rather a lazy person, but that does not change the fact that shopping in stores takes forever. With online shopping, it is very quick and easy to access; businesses offer filters and a wide variety of clothes. Having an online website is helpful to everyone, as long as the business has enough liquidity. Businesses are able to go global and make more sales, which results in a lot of profit due to the current situation with COVID-19. Also, consumers do not have to leave the house, but could easily access an online website, with most of the products available.

  33. While the idea of many of our favorite local shops turning primarily digital a is bittersweet thought for me like many, it may be the only solution for these businesses to stay a float while getting out of the pandemic and in the future in preparation for another disaster as such. This pandemic has destroyed countless local businesses across the nation thanks mainly to the lockdown but also to the loss of spending money for most people across the country. Some businesses however have actually made great profits in the pandemic despite all the setbacks. These businesses all have one things in common: a digital platform. In home activities like Netflix and HBO saw increases but nobody saw a bigger boom than online markets like Amazon. Jeff Bezos made $13B in one day alone during the pandemic. This success as well as the massive failure of many traditional businesses opened all of our eyes and showed us that in this constantly evolving digital world that is where businesses can feel the safest and grow the quickest. While most large businesses and many small have already dove into the online realm, the ones that haven’t will need to look into it and take action sooner rather than later.

  34. This pandemic has changed how almost every business is able to operate. From universities to restaurants, each and every business has had to make substantial changes for the safety of its customers. These changes, while being necessary to try and limit the amount of people infecting by this virus, have crippled many smaller businesses as they are, in many cases, unable to allow the same number of customers into their stores as usual. For many small businesses, a fix for the loss in revenue from in person purchases can be made by being reachable online. In the article, Amanda Brinkman said that “the key to remaining viable is to be searchable and active online.” The article then goes onto talk about how who people want to help small businesses need to be able to find them. Moving online is a good way to ensure that more people will be able to find your business. Because of this pandemic, many small businesses were forced to move online to try to stay afloat. This forced move online has actually helped small businesses be able to expand and thrive rather than just stay afloat. Brinkman talks about how many organizations were left wondering why they didn’t move online before. I think the move online helps small businesses so much because it is simply the way the world is moving. Many people have been making the majority of their purchases online for years, so it makes sense that the move online has helped business to expand even during a worldwide pandemic. Brinkman talks about the businesses that were forced to move online being able to help people in more ways than anticipated. She says that these smaller companies are able to provide customers with more personal services that they desire. These personal services are services that people are unable to receive from larger retail companies. In this way, the move online for small businesses has actually been beneficial for both the small businesses and their consumers. In a strange way, this pandemic has actually brought about some good for small businesses and consumers alike.

  35. During this pandemic caused by COVID-19 we have seen nothing, but huge growth from big businesses, especially those that do a lot of their work online such as Amazon. According to a Forbes report from July 23rd of this year, the stock of Amazon rose by 63.3% due to the shutdown and stop of the majority of in person shopping. Walmart and other stores that were still open were forced to not only restrict the amount of time that they were open, but also restrict the amount of people that were allowed to walk around the store during store hours. I worked at Walmart before and during the pandemic and I can personally tell you that the amount of online shopping that was done increased by more than triple. In the Walmart I worked in alone the OGPs (Online Grocery Pickup) section of employees had the largest increase due to the sudden raise in online shopping. The section almost tripled and OGP’s received the largest pay raise because of how much more work was required of them.
    I feel as though the main street stores along with all other small businesses should do whatever they can to transfer their stores and products to online shopping. Many small businesses have been forced to shut down due to pandemic because of the common fear of being infected by COVID. Many small stores that still try to have in person experiences are forced to limit their in-store capacity to one customer at a time which slows down their money intake. I feel as though if these same small businesses do make a transfer to online it will only help them out in the long run. If we do ever get out of this pandemic having a way for customers to shop not only in person, but online as well would only help them make more money at an outstanding rate. It would force them to take on a larger role due to the sudden increase in orders but if they hired the right personnel it would only assist their profit in the long run.

  36. A new economic landscape is on the horizon, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Main Street Shops who serve their communities must reimagine and adapt to digital platforms in order to survive. They must focus on their business assets rather than deficits in this uncertain economy. Local businesses must commit themselves to being successful in a competitive time in the economy. They must think of new and innovative ways to do business virtually. Resilience will determine if these shops stay opened or closed. In order to survives these shops must also stay viable and creative. This begins with a robust, online presence which is accessible to global markets, not just their local community anymore. This situation may result in a transformation and a boom for their business. Sustainability will be factored on how each Main Street Shop adjusts and strategizes on a digital platform. Implementing changes to increase revenue and customer engagement is a necessity for success. Creating a high-quality online experience that is appealing, convenient, and personal will guarantee the return of customers. Website features and functionality is key to drawing in buyers. These businesses can make their website personable through effective communication and seamless transactions. If they can capture and convey human emotion in the telepresence, the buyers experience will be similar to an in-person shopping encounter. A high quality and fulfilling e-commerce site will increase customer loyalty and anticipated business revenue. Personalization and convenience on a digital platform will now replace the customers in-store appearance. Shops may find it beneficial to reach out to the younger, tech savvy generation to effectively pinpoint their target audience through social media. These factors will determine if the Main Street Shops thrive in the future. Sometimes, painful changes bring about enhanced experiences where businesses emerge more successful than were in the past. The pandemic will empower businesses to focus their vision forward where they are able to grow and improve. As businesses struggle to replicate their shoppers experience, store associates can still provide the buyer with exceptional service by live conversation with a human touch to their virtual shopping. If the experience gives the customers with the true sensation of presence, then the business will thrive.

  37. In 2020, to have a business and not have a digital option seems like a no brainer. With COVID and the way that it changed America, there is a new normal with business. Small businesses are affected the most because their clientele isn’t as large as these corporations. I feel really bad for the people who worked so hard to get their business up and running and then we got hit with an unforeseeable pandemic. I hope that those people were able to recover, but I know that there are definitely companies that had to either shut down or are still trying to recover. One of the keys for small business from the article was to remain viable, searchable, and active online. If there is one positive thing that I believe came out of this pandemic was the fact that everyone was forced to work on their tech skills. That is such an important piece because we live in a generation that is so technology heavy in many aspects. If companies offer online services, it is more likely that they can adapt if something like this were to happen again. Also, today with all this technology people can virtually shop for anything with their phones. So why would they continue to go into a store if it can be done from the couch? There are people who would still want to go in person for that experience, but it is important that establishment to at least have the option in case something happens. Also, a lot of companies have an online option and in order to stay competitive with the other companies, it is important that they keep up. Small businesses are more fragile than large corporations so it important that they stay up to date with current times so that they don’t get left behind.

  38. These past few months have been a lot to take in. Some people do not like change and like having their daily routine. I totally get that; it was like having a curve ball thrown at us out of nowhere. The pandemic began and the country basically shut down. Millions of Americans were out of a job. The country was in a shortage of toilet paper (which I still don’t get). And even now the country is in a high demand of Lysol products, gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, basically anything to keep themselves and their spaces clean. People ditched the idea of going out and putting themselves and their families at risk; so many Americans resorted to the world of online shopping like Amazon. Companies that were mainly in person with their customers had to convert to online services to keep their businesses up and running. Schools alone had to make such a transition from teaching millions of kids in person to trying to teach them online or a hybrid method. Unfortunately, it does not feel the same and a part of our education feels like its missing. Technology is doing its best. Without technology and online services of just about anything I do not think we would be surviving this pandemic as best as possible. Anything and everything you can think of can be done online, ordering food, calling a doctor, attending school, meetings, and now even work. All these tasks are possible because of the help of technology. Business had to make such a drastic transition because otherwise they would no longer be in business and would suffer financially. Small business that cannot go online are making the best possible with the best they have but of course some stuff is just inevitable, and we cannot control everything that is going on in the world. We can only make the best with what we have, and we can do. Technology is one of the best creations of the decade and it only keeps getting better from self-driving cars, to robots and machines that do your shopping. The world is your oyster.

  39. 2020 has been both a great year and a bad year for small business. The reason its been a great year is because many business have figured out was to restored their business to online. And these business have unexpectedly turned their local small businesses to potential global businesses. The reason some business have been failing is because they have lack of knowledge as far as how to get their business to have the right online presence. In the blog post Brinkman said, “Many businesses that previously thought of themselves as just local businesses are now able to be global businesses—if they have the right online presence.” I found this to be very true because most small business started to transition to online business when the pandemic hit but if was only a few that really became successful because they knew how to find the right online presence. All in all, more and more small business are going to need to be able to figure out more effective ways to get their businesses to have the right online presence. If not, they will find themselves going out of business quickly because most people are not will to go out to an actually shop or building to be able to access services. Instead, more people are more willing to buy stuff or receive service threw online.

  40. Technology has changed the landscape for small businesses but especially the brick and mortar stores. In the article, it mentions how important it is for businesses in this situation to take advantage of technology and switch to a digital platform, due to the pandemic in order to survive. As the son of a former small business owner, who had an online website as well, I saw how valuable that online space was to the business and how it generated much more sales then the storefront did. I would attribute the online sales to the ability to expand your stores marketing footprint which the internet provides. This is why I believe that all small businesses should have an online presence which would create a more balanced playing field. What I have learned the most from my entrepreneurship classes is that any business that wants to be successful it must be able to pivot. As Binkman states, “companies that have successfully pivoted online can offer services that customers want—from personalized deliveries to virtual classes—and can’t get from larger retailers like Amazon.” The key for these small businesses is pivoting from a local business to a global/worldwide business through the use of technology.

  41. Small businesses are going to struggle the most from the pandemic. Small businesses for the pandemic have a harder way of getting people because they are local and go mainly off word of mouth with minimum advertising. I know back home all the small businesses I hear about is from other people who have gone there and have great things to say about it. This being said, with the pandemic taking down many small businesses it is hard for there name to get out there. This article described how these businesses need to stay relevant to the outside world and the only way they will be able to is by staying online and connected to the public. This can be hard because if a business was not online to begin with, they have to not only train themselves and others to use it but broadcast it to the public. For instance, if a business obtains Grub hub as a use for there customers, they have to learn how Grub hub works financial wise and for ordering. This online way of order would be a change for them. Also, a good idea for small businesses that are not restaurant related is for them hold classes outside for the public. Yes, the government has issued that they have to be six feet away from one another, but this does not mean a yoga studio can not hold a class outside with the six feet applied. I think that it is crucial for small business to stay connected in order to keep the public updated with there plans. I know financials is important and the key to keep these businesses in business, but it is important to remember that they do not have the funding to stay in business. This is why a pandemic it is important more then ever to stay small to not only support the community, but so good businesses can stay afloat. Technology tells us again that they are ruling the world with the benefit they can provide for the public. I would be more concerned with how these businesses would have stayed afloat twenty years ago when technology was not as advanced and public as it is now.

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