Small Business Winners. Losers and “Reformulators” after A. C. (COVID -19)

Written by Gene Wright. Posted in COVID 19 Get Help for Small Businesses

I’m a baby boomer business broker trapped at home and trying to figure out what to do to help small business owners impacted by the coronavirus stay alive. With all small businesses not classified as urgent now closed in metro Atlanta, we’re all together hoping we can flatten the curve as soon as possible. Business owners I’ve talked to in the home health care and commercial cleaning businesses are worried about fulfilling unprecedented demand and keeping their employees safe while an owner of a small medical clinic is struggling to get testing kits to keep their clinic open. Everyone has seen their business change in ways none of us could have imagined six weeks ago. Lost revenue can never be recovered. As I think about what happens after what happens next, there will be winners, losers and “reformulators”, companies who adapt to change and survive. I believe we’re already reached a tipping point that may fundamentally change the way many business owners will operate A.C. (after COVID-19). Larger employers utilizing video conferencing with employees working from home may find that all that office space may not be needed later and impact the commercial real estate market A.C. Restauranteurs are learning how to start a customer pickup business and the importance of mobile marketing. Local retailers are learning how to operate with reduced hours while turning selling space into warehouse space to pick orders for customers. Small businesses can pivot much faster and are more entrepreneurial than larger ones, and owners who can figure out ways to stay in business will become even stronger A.C. Some won’t survive. With 10,000 boomers turning 65 every day, the small business landscape will change rapidly. Those business owners and franchisees who have a job (solopreneurs) versus a business are at risk because they are undercapitalized and won’t be able to secure financing because they simply can’t repay the debt and won’t get loans approved. Others will fail because they are debt averse and don’t want to pledge homes as collateral if their business eventually fails. I’m convinced help will arrive from our state and federal government, but when? Who will get the help? Will it come in time to help save a large number of small businesses in Atlanta? Delays and confusion will be the order of the day as they too become overwhelmed, frustrated and exhausted as they try to help. If you’re a small business owner and would like to share with us what you’re doing to stay alive, send them to me and I’ll pass them along to others in the same boat.

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