At a time of an economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses are hit hard. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan may have helped, but eighty-eight percent of U.S. small business owners have already depleted this resource. Additionally, 30 percent of PPP loan recipients will no longer have finances saved by the end of 2020.
They also bear the burden of lesser people going out of the house. Gone are the regular campers of coffee shops. Regular customers come to dine in less and less in small restaurants. They may have delivery to cope, but business is still not in full bloom.
At the same time, gig workers or freelancers have been feeling the effects of the economic crisis. Since companies have been cutting down on costs, projects are also scarce. For example, marketing and advertising campaigns may have been postponed. As a result, production teams and creatives who are freelancing are also out of jobs.
The freelancing industry is massive. It also encompasses a lot of fields, from IT, visual arts, music, dance, etc. These are people whose jobs do not have the stability of a company or one contract. So, job security can be one of their biggest problems since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Freelancers and small businesses can help each other. They can avail of each other’s services as a way of supporting their sources of livelihood and to keep them afloat.
Freelancers to Small Businesses
1. Keep Buying Food or Coffee
Before the pandemic, freelancers are notorious for camping in coffee shops or restaurants. The house may not be a place that is conducive to productivity, but coffee can help–especially if it’s from your favorite place. This time, they won’t complain about the possibility of freeloading because takeouts are encouraged. If the place has takeout services, having food delivered to your home is convenient and safe. If the place is near, and you could use a walk, you can visit your favorite business owner to get your favorites.
2. Introduce Them to Technology
While millennials are considered the startup generation, there are still older people who ventured into business. At times, they are not as technologically advanced with their approach to business. Sadly, they might get left behind without some guidance.
Those who work in IT can impart a little information about technologies that help in small business growth. One technology that can help them keep track of their orders and other logistics of the business is an asset maintenance management software tool. This can particularly combine most of the tracking work into one software, making their lives easier. Once business owners are convinced, there’s a huge chance they’ll hire you.
Small Businesses to Freelancers
1. Hire Them
Social media is one of the most important factors of running a business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Everything on the social media page needs to be appealing to catch the attention of people who are so used to scrolling past things. In order to curate a good social media strategy, a business will need a social media manager. For content, the page will need a good photographer, graphic artist, and copywriter. This alone can give freelancers multiple jobs.
2. Recommend Them
This may not be a direct way to financially support freelancers, but it’s something that has a long-term effect. Since small businesses are known to be closer to their customers, there might be customers who would ask owners if they know anyone. If somebody, for example, asks about who works on the social media page, the owner should recommend the freelancers she hired. This is a helpful promotion, especially because freelancers have to market themselves as individuals.
Share Each Other’s Posts on Social Media
Due to quarantine, people have been spending more time on social media. It has also been the number one vessel to promote businesses in the midst of the pandemic. It can reach homes and individuals at such a low price.
When a small business posts a product or a freelancer posts their work on social media, a low-effort and completely free way of supporting each other is by sharing the post. This increases their reach because, now, people who do not follow the page can see the post.
This idea of reciprocity is important in keeping the cycle alive. Most people are struggling to stay afloat during the economic crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sometimes, the least everyone can do is support each other. Buy takeout, introduce technologies, hire and recommend freelancers, and share each other’s posts on social media. These little acts can go far.