Valuable Resources For eCommerce Retailers to Uplift During the Time of Ambiguity

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Life can change in a matter of seconds and we have witnessed it first hand. It was not long ago that small business owners were setting ambitious goals for the new year — and the coming decade. Maybe this was the year for some where they wanted to launch a new product or brand.

As a business owner, you might have had the idea to set a record for sales or maybe decided to take an idea and set out to make it a reality.

Alas! Small and medium enterprises around the world are grappling with the harsh impacts of COVID-19.

It is deeply saddening to see what the virus has done to our communities, our lifestyles, and our businesses.

COVID-19 abruptly uprooted both our personal and professional lives, leaving ius with no option but to temporarily adapt to a new lifestyle.And it is vital for each one of us to take active steps to protect the health of our business.

Remember the saying, ‘tough times don’t last, tough people do.’

This is a time where the world stands still and social distancing is keeping us apart. We all are connected through a robust online commerce community.

During this time, here are a myriad of resources to help you in your small, but big, fight against the business effects of COVID-19.

Credits, Free Courses and Discounts for eCommerce Business Owners

Be a Part Of:– This service offers 10 hours of free services and funding through Clearbank for small businesses.

Samba Rock:– Again,offering great service packages

RedStage:- Prolonged and increased coverage for customer support

RMG Media:- The company is offering their standard BI & Analytics platform and complementary strategy services at no charge through June 2020

Coalition:- 4 hours of free support for SMB; whether you’re a restaurant, e-commerce retailer, or something else

Cart Consultants:- They are offering a quick launch package – 24 hour launch

Arizon Digital:- They are offering free discovery sessions to optimize your eCommerce solution. They are giving up to 25% discount on hourly rates.

hi-five web:- Speed launch program with options

Razoyo:- Coronavirus survival guide

1Digital:- They are providing Free SEO Consultation + One month free SEO Consulting Services

Intuit Quickbooks:- Intuit Quickbooks teamed up with Go Fund Me to offer The Small Business Relief Initiative. They are seeding this initiative with up to $1 million.

Discounts and Credits being offered for small businesses

Many brands and companies have pledged to offer small businesses, weathering this storm together.

Square

They launched their curbside pickup feature for their point-of-sale merchants. Since the importance of social distancing is now more evident, they are waiving fees for the first 3 months.

On top of that, for existing square customers, the company is refunding software subscription fees for March 2020. This will be done automatically and requires no additional action from your business.

Citi

According to the official update from the bank, for the next 30 days; subject to extension and beginning on March 9, 2020, CitiBank is under the process of evaluating small business card holders who have been affected by COVID-19.

From their hands, they are offering certain benefits on a case-by-case basis. They include, but are not limited to fee waivers on monthly service fees and remote deposit capture and waived penalties for early CD withdrawal.

Lifesize

It is quite evident that many companies have opted to go remote. Video conferencing is a new tool on which many businesses are dependent today.

Lifesize is the world’s first global 4k video conferencing technology and they are offering free, unlimited video conferencing to all global businesses for six months.

American Express

The bank has started their Financial Hardship program under which American Express has been doing their best in waiving some late fees for personal and business card holders, evaluating on a case-by-case basis. You can contact them through their chat function.

Additionally, the American Express Working Capital program launched by the bank can also provide working access to funds for affected small businesses.

Online Courses for eCommerce Business Owners

Almost all of us are at home practicing social distancing. While this is good for health and safety, this can also be a great time to catch up on our education. There are some companies offering free online courses for a limited time.

Brit & Co

Brit & Co is focused on educating and entertaining real women with a creative spirit. They are offering their creative classes for free. Just like in an online learning app, the website guides you through different materials and learning modules with ease.

Blogging for Business

Conducted by Ahrefs, this learning material called Blogging for Business takes you through 10 tutorials to teach you how to grow your blog beyond 100K monthly visitors, also helping you know how to convert your thousands of readers.

Digital Marketer

The organization is offering a complimentary Lab membership for the month of March. It may be extended longer considering how the COVID-19 pandemic progresses.

Twitter Flight School

Twitter is offering complimentary education on their platform which has been named as Twitter Flight School. The topics in this learning include, getting started with Twitter Ads Manager and creating and executing video campaigns.

Score.org

This is a non-profit organization acting as a resource partner for the U.S. Small Business Association. They have curated a COVID-19 resource hub which focuses on small business finances, cash-flow management, and how to run an online business.

More Resources Across the Globe

The pandemic that we are facing today is global. Markets all across the globe have been affected by it. If you are selling internationally, or are located outside of the United States, you should consider having a look at some of these international resources.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom took proactive steps to support their small businesses during the current crisis.

The chancellor UK has approved a small business relief package which includes a great number of benefits. According to the government website, the benefits listed are as below:

You can also check the business support website for their answers on most frequently asked questions.

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Self-Assessment payments
  • a Self-employment Income Support Scheme
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

Australia

The Australian government released a paper titled Economic Response to the Coronavirus. Major highlights of the announcement include cash flow and tax assistance and support for apprentices and trainees.

Australian government is introducing what’s called ‘The Boosting Cash Flow for Employers’ measure which may provide up to $25,000 back to certain small and

medium-sized businesses. These payments generally are tax free in Australia.

Extending their support for apprentices and trainees, those employers who are eligible will be able to apply for a wage subsidy of up to 50% of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for up to 9 months (between January 1, 2020 to  September 30, 2020). The country’s government believes this will help support up to 70,000 small businesses across the country.

Italy

Whole world knows and understands the situation of Italy today; it was worse than China at one point. The country took the hardest hit. Small businesses are struggling amidst high amounts of uncertainty and major business complications rising every day. Along with this, the countrymen have to adapt with extreme changes to daily life.

Italian government has ordered a nation-wide lock down, forcing businesses both small and large to find business solutions. And all of these happened overnight. Italy is a business hub for large manufacturing industries, like fashion. And supply chain delays become one of the biggest challenges during such times.

Believe it or not but Italian businesses are becoming rapidly overwhelmed as they face massive supply chain hurdles. In order to weather the storm, Italian government approved a €25 billion economic package.

According to a report from Vogue Business, the package has a deferment of contributions, tax and tax withholdings due on March 16-31, 2020 for entities that declare a turnover of less than €2 million and for those supply chains most harshly hit by the emergency. The decree also suspends mortgages and loan repayments and freezes collective dismissals.

Endnotes

We are in the eye of the storm. This is a never before seen crisis for all of us and all of us are in this together; be it as individuals or as businesses. We have a common enemy to face. Being active in communities and uplifting each other can definitely make this process less painful.

Author bio:

Albert Smith is a Digital Marketing Manager with Hidden Brains, a leading Enterprise Web & Mobile App Development Company specializing in mobile & web applications, IoT, Cloud and Big Data services. He provides innovative ways to help tech companies, startups and large enterprises build their brand.

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