The seemingly never-ending financial damage experienced by local store owners continues across the globe, however, the opposite is true of both online and mobile retailers.
With Covid-19 related restriction after restriction being imposed on small, medium, and large store owners the cost of ensuring they adhere to those resections is huge.
Those restrictions which can see them having to limit the number of customers they have in their stores, ensuring they have access to hand sanitizer and in some cases face masks and gloves when entering their stores, the added cost is having a negative effect on their profit margins.
Being forced to have to stand in line outside a store, then adhere to social distancing when inside a store, whilst wearing all manner of personal protection gear is taking its toll on customers, with many of them deciding it is much easier to simply order the goods they need online or via a mobile app from home to play their favorite games as the gaming centers are closed.
It is true to say that all store owners are having to operate their business to some even smaller profit margins currently, and the added cost of making their premises COVID secure is sadly seeing some store owners having to make the decision to close up their stores for good as they cannot see a point in time in the very near or even distant future when their businesses will be as profitable as they once were.
Working from Home Devastates City Centre Businesses
The advice given to most people during the pandemic has been that if you can work from home then you should do so. It has been amazing at just how quickly many businesses have been able to adjust to their staff working from home.
However, that has now have the knock-on effect as lockdown eases in many parts of the world that many employers and wary of inviting their staff back to their offices, as there is always the chance of one of their staff members being infected with Covid-19 and spread it quickly through that office to other staff
As such many business owners have decided that where possible all staff that can work from home should do so for the foreseeable future, and that has resulted in many major cities of the world becoming like ghost towns.
With large numbers of employees working from home, coupled with the lack of visitors from oversees many once-popular cities of the world such as Paris in France, London in the UK and New York in the U.S.A. many small store owners, socially coffee shop owners, souvenir shop owners and the such like, and any type of business that once catered for tourists and office workers have seen some huge drops in their income levels.
It therefore sadly, will not be that long until many of those smaller businesses are forced to close their doors, possibly forever, if the trend to work from home continues.
Initiatives to Help Business Owners Bounce Back
There have been many different schemes set up by Governments all over the world to try and help and support any business that has been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, most of those schemes have involved offering very low-interest loans to business owners to help them stay in business and meet their short term financial obligations as there income levels have been devasted by the outbreak of that virus.
Some countries not only offer low-interest business loans, there are also plenty of grants available to small business owners too, and even those companies that are huge in size have in one way or another been offered financial assistance.
It is not all doom and gloom through, for many small store owners have decided to launch their own websites and even offer local delivery services to their customers, and the income generated by those online ordering systems many of them have set up and the delivery services they offer have saved many such businesses from going under.
There will however come a time when many low-interest business loans will need repaying, and there are fears that many small store owners and many other small business owners are going to struggle when it comes to repaying those loans.
Time will tell whether those small business loans and grant schemes that have been set up have had the desired effect, that being keeping as many businesses afloat once the pandemic subsides and life returns to normal, which may not be for some time yet of course.
Support Your Local Store and Business Owners
It is at times like this that we should all join forces and ensure that local businessmen and women get the support and custom they so rightly deserve.
Without local stores which are often based right in the heart of local communities, that will leave only the larger and often out of town retailers, and many older people do not have access to a vehicle or the public transport system currently to get to those larger stores.
Please do try and support your local store owners at this difficult time, many of them have spent a small fortune ensuring their premiers are COVID-secure and are opening longer business hours to ensure that they can and will be able to service you morning, noon, and night.
It is a sad fact of life during thee unprecedented times that many smaller businesses are going to go to the wall and will have to close, and that is something we should not allow to happen.
We are going to face some difficult times ahead, there is no getting away from that simple fact, but by helping and supporting each other, that will mitigate the effect of this ongoing crisis, so please the next time you do need to stock up on groceries or anything, always have your local smaller retailer in mind as your very first port of call, they will be very grateful of your custom, there is no doubt about that.