Covid-19 has changed the way people learn, entertain themselves, and – most concerningly for many small business owners – shop and spend. Today, we discuss 5 ways that Covid-19 has impacted small business owners, as well as how onsite testing can help small businesses operate as safely as possible during the pandemic.
1. Changes in consumer demand and habits
With lockdowns across the US preventing many people from leaving home except for the bare essentials and travel restricted to necessary trips only, consumers adjusted their shopping habits accordingly. The temporary closures of restaurants and retail stores compounded these changes, as many people were forced to seek online alternatives.
Individuals and families who found themselves classified in a high-risk category for Covid-19 complications had additional considerations that impacted their spending and shopping habits, as it was imperative that they minimize potential exposure to the virus.
Many families with young children, especially those who had to supplement online instruction, have found themselves strapped for time. This further impacted shopping and spending habits as young parents sought convenient, fast options for food, shopping, and entertainment.
The increasing availability of the Covid-19 vaccine has encouraged some consumers to resume their normal shopping and spending habits. However, it remains to be seen whether some adjustments to routines, such as online shopping or delivery, will be permanent fixtures in some consumers’ lives.
2. Decreased revenue and cash flow shortages
Of the many ways Covid-19 has impacted small businesses, there are fewer more significant than the drop in revenue as consumers stopped spending. Certain types of businesses felt the impact of Covid-19 more than others, with food services, entertainment, arts, and educational services the hardest hit, followed by retail and other services.
This makes sense. For example, many office workers didn’t feel the need to purchase the latest season’s style when they were working from home in pajamas. With many beaches closed, there was likewise no need for the newest beachwear. With lockdowns enforced across many cities, and restaurants and bars closed per local ordinance, people stopped dining out.
Small businesses had to adapt where possible, and some had to furlough or cut staff just to stay afloat. The CARES program helped many businesses continue making payroll and cover utilities, and the new injection of federal funds is still being distributed. The Small Business Administration has compiled a list of resources small businesses can use to obtain assistance and continue operating.
3. Disruptions to the normal supply chain
Early into the pandemic, some companies discovered the fragility of their supply chain. For example, ports in China closing made obtaining certain reagents necessary for Covid-19 tests next to impossible. The ongoing pandemic has impacted everything from food to cars and other imports, such as chips for smartphones and computers.
Many companies are reassessing their supply chains, and some have turned to domestic sources to avoid significant shortages and disruptions in the future. However, some of these changes will take time – such as setting up new factories or other domestic alternatives – and so, supply chain disruptions will likely be a part of the global trade landscape for months or years to come.
4. Changes to the ways companies continue to provide their services
Many companies have needed to adapt to these unprecedented times in order to survive. For offices, that has meant requiring their staff to work from home. For restaurants, that has meant offering takeout and/or delivery. Retail stores have relied on online sales or revised their offerings, such as providing DIY kits or offering classes online.
Entertainment venues have needed to adapt by physically adjusting their space to comply with local social distancing guidelines, providing extra sanitization stations, and requiring masks at live events.
Although many cities are now allowing entertainment venues to operate at reduced capacity, the reduced crowd size continues to impact the revenue of large venues and will do so until the pandemic is under control and the US has reached herd immunity.
5. Concerns about contracting the virus
One of the most significant ways that Covid-19 has impacted small businesses is perceived risk of contracting the virus – for both employees and customers. The demand for testing continues to strain supply in many cities, and long lines and delays at laboratories indicates continued concern among the general population.
Some areas in the US have largely reopened now that the vaccine is more widely available and the number of cases per day has stabilized in many areas. However, concerns about contracting the virus – especially following an outbreak or a super-spreader event – will continue to influence people’s travel and shopping habits, which in turn impact small businesses.
How Covid-19 Testing Can Help Your Business Operate Safely
Covid-19 testing helps catch an active infection before it spreads among staff, which can force temporary closures and further impact revenue.
Although you can rely on your staff to get tested for Covid-19 on their own time, you cannot require your staff to provide test results that they’ve obtained on their own volition. In addition to this, supply shortages and long lines at testing centers may make obtaining tests difficult, if not impossible, and discourage your staff from getting tested.
Some companies have opted to get DIY tests for their employees to self-administer. However, this is a time-consuming process and requires you to take time out of your day to ensure you’re operating within local guidelines, collect and package all of the samples, mail them out, and distribute results.
Further, if someone tests positive, you’ll need to enact your company’s Covid-19 health plan (if you have one), such as making arrangements for temporary closures or calling in a specialized sanitization company to clean your workplace.
Convenient, Simple Onsite Covid-19 Testing With Drip Hydration
Testing can help business owners provide a safe, healthy place for their employees to work. It also gives customers the peace of mind that your business is taking every precaution possible to ensure their safety. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to ensure your staff is regularly tested by medical professionals: onsite Covid-19 tests with Drip Hydration.
The process is simple. Our registered nurse sets up a testing location at your workplace and administers the tests to all participating staff. They will either take the tests to be processed offsite with results in 3 days, or process the samples onsite with results in as little as 15 minutes, depending on which test you choose.
Our team can help you set up a health safety plan that includes ongoing testing to ensure that you are taking all possible precautions to protect your staff and your business. If someone on staff does test positive, we can provide guidance as to your next steps. We make onsite testing for businesses hassle-free. Give us a call with any questions, or book a consultation using the button below.