It’s no secret: small businesses have had to adapt to survive during the past year as the coronavirus pandemic took over the world as we knew it. Adaptability is key to Darwin’s theory of evolution and the survival of the fittest. And in business, those with the ability and means to change and adapt to a new environment are the ones who tend to stick around. With some hope on the horizon now, its time to check in on the small businesses.
How Businesses Adapted
Forbes interviewed businesses and asked if they had to adapt to the new environment and consumer demands. 29% said they did not change anything and remained open, 58% adapted in some way, and 13% were forced to close. As small businesses throughout the U.S. tried to claw their way into recovery, they faced a multitude of health and safety restrictions that made daily operations even more of a challenge. Just as large businesses and franchises have had to invest in new talent and technology to adjust to new standards of procedures, smaller businesses will need to make these same adjustments. However, for the smaller businesses, these changes have a greater relative cost with less overall funds from existing capital such as land, labor, and technology.
The tangible ways all businesses adapted to the pandemic includes the new hygiene and safety protocols. This ranges from buying employee masks and gloves, to installing plexiglass, to instituting a curb-side delivery options. Although Charlotte’s city council budgeted and approved $35 million to fund the Access to Capital Small Business Recovery Program, small businesses are still facing an uphill battle. With less customers to increase sales revenue but more expenses being paid to ensure critical cleanliness procedures, the majority of businesses have faced steep declines in overall profits. Even with the Open for Business Initiative, what will inevitably ensure small businesses to prevail after the pandemic is to instill confidence back into consumers to go back into their loved locally owned shops.
Rebound Projections & Forecast
Nonetheless, there is a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. With the new authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccine, Americans are slowly but surely returning back to their locally-owned restaurants and mom-and-pop shops. North Carolina, for instance, has 35.3% of its population fully vaccinated as of the end of May. The recognizable economic and societal gains from the vaccines are numerous, directly leading to small businesses’ capabilities of beginning to rebound in the post-pandemic environment. Improving health among the population presents robust evidence of economic growth occurring as individuals gain confidence through better physical and cognitive performance to be active economic actors in the market.
As North Carolina and the rest of the U.S. head into summer, small business revenue projections are on the upward slope. A study by First Citizens Bank reports that “two-thirds of respondents are either optimistic or very optimistic about the economic conditions in the next two to three years.” With all the City of Charlotte’s grants and support network, as well as Charlotteans ready to get back out in the market, the Queen City can prepare for a great rebound this summer.
Small Businesses on the Rise
Check out these Charlotte small businesses that have persevered through the pandemic and support local! This list is by no means exhaustive, but a great place to start in showing the Queen City community some love.
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DYE CULIK PC is a Charlotte, North Carolina small business and franchise law firm. Our attorneys have represented small businesses for more than a decade. Give us a call at 980-999-3557 if you need help or legal advice for your small business. Follow us on Instagram for the latest updates on CLT small businesses.