Small business is the backbone of the economy. Small businesses are also a radiating pain point during this devastating economic downturn.
According to WBUR in Boston, earlier this summer, MassINC Polling Group surveyed 1,868 small businesses (defined as having fewer than 500 employees). Their findings show that 44% of small businesses lost at least half of their revenue, and 20% lost at least a quarter of their revenue during the first half of the year compared to the same time period last year.
According to The New York Times, the lack of tourists and commuters has devastated New York City, especially Manhattan. Since March, more than 2,800 businesses in the city have permanently closed. And by the time the pandemic is over, one-third of the city’s 240,000 small businesses could be gone forever. This is a S C A R Y time to be in business, particularly when your business requires that customers enter your store.
The National Retail Federation is supporting The Small Business Comeback Act, introduced by Representatives Filemon Vela, D-Texas, and Lance Gooden, R-Texas, which would create a Small Business Recovery Fund intended to supplement the Paycheck Protection Program and other provisions of the CARES Act passed this spring.
Knowing the situation on the ground, I like to see brands focus on helping entrepreneurs win.
In Square’s small business entrepreneurship series, “My City,” Roy Choi introduces viewers to three of his favorite Los Angeles business owners who are as dedicated as he is to building the neighborhood, community, and their small businesses as local, socially-minded enterprises.
Roy Choi (@chefroychoi) is a chef and entrepreneur. He started the successful gourmet Korean-Mexican taco truck Kogi (@kogibbq) in 2008 with the goal of bringing “affordable good food to the people” and growing his community impact.
In the video, Choi introduces Victor Bañuelos, founder of the classic-style Elysian Barbershop; Mandy Kohlani, the founder of POT pottery studio; and Hector Valdez, a tattoo artist in Huntington Beach.
These videos were filmed in December 2019, before the Coronavirus reached the U.S. All of the small businesses in these videos have been severely affected by the pandemic.
Stripe In Nigeria
Stripe which offers a nearly identical product to Square is also fond of content marketing. For good reason.
The heroes of this Stripe-sponsored story, Stutern built an online platform that helps young Nigerians upskill and find good jobs in the technology sector.
This video above doesn’t tie the Stripe product to the solution in the same way that Square’s work implicitly does. I like both approaches, but conversion isn’t a therapy, it’s a marketing practice that brand builders rely on to create the cash needed to run their businesses.
I have a Stripe account but I might go with Square if I was choosing between the two today.