The ongoing pandemic has placed tremendous pressure on small business owners, and recent data shows that over 100,000 have been forced to shutter - some for good. But many others have dug-in and reinvented themselves on the fly, taking advantage of their small size and innate ability to quickly pivot, and they are poised to recover and start growing again.
One example is Ace Endico, a family-owned and operated wholesale food distribution company based in Brewster, N.Y. that's been in business since 1982.
When the quarantine started to drive their restaurant customer orders down, their instinct to survive kicked in and they quickly expanded their retail operation and purchased new delivery vans for in-home delivery. Today they are back to 75% of their pre-pandemic sales, and have expanded their brand exponentially.
With the continuing pressure on costs, small businesses are also looking back at how they started, drawing on their creativity. Today, they are focusing even more closely on their customers as they develop new partnerships and remember the importance of building meaningful relationships that will help them pull through the crisis.
Other small business owners have been forced to move their businesses online. In one of the hardest hit sectors, the meeting and event industry, entrepreneurs have developed new virtual meeting and event platforms for area companies and nonprofit organizations. One example here in the Hudson Valley is a partnership between Hospitality Resource Group, a leading event planning and management company, Corporate AV, an event production company, MackTeck Solutions, a web design and management firm, and Sharc Creative, an innovative media services company, to offer a unique, totally integrated solution that is changing the way we meet today - and tomorrow.
As entrepreneurs know how to get the most bang for their buck, they are turning to tried and true strategies to save money and stay open. Many are taking advantage of Google's pledge of $800M to Combat Covid-19 that offers Free Google Ad Credits for Small and Midsize Companies.
And with the continuing push to be more engaged, smart small business owners have been investing time into their social media with survival tools to help them stay connected and become even more responsive to the needs and interests of their customers.
In a world where there are more questions than answers, and uncertainties can lead to paralysis, forward thinking entrepreneurs are creating new ways to get back on their feet and find their sea legs in these turbulent waters. Let's remember how important they are to our communities, and vote with your wallet to keep them up and running!