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  • Writer's pictureCalla Norman

Ways to Weather the Omicron Variant Storm for your Small Business

Myles Powell, owner of 8 Myles with his mac n cheese in Whole Foods

With surges in infection numbers happening since last December, the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is putting tens of thousands of small businesses at risk of closure. Here are some ways you can weather the storm of the omicron variant and get help for your small business.

Refine your carryout or curbside pickup or delivery strategy

We’ve had nearly two years to perfect our strategies for carryout, curbside pickup, or delivery, but that doesn’t mean that there haven’t been issues.

For example, some restaurants are reporting that takeout containers are hard to come by these days due to supply chain problems and the fact that every other restaurant is looking for takeout containers. One potential solution to this is to encourage your customers to bring their own reusable containers! While not everyone will be able to do this, it could be one way of not only reducing the valuable disposable takeout containers but also making an environmental difference.

Recruit help and compensate them well

Another problem that small business owners are facing is what’s known as the labor shortage. Many small businesses are having a difficult time finding and retaining employees in the wake of coronavirus due to a variety of factors, including wage disparity and lax safety conditions.

Now more than ever, this is the time to take care of your employees. If you can, you should consider paying them a living wage and make sure that you’re transparent about your business’s coronavirus policies.

One business that was able to support their employees in the first wave of the coronavirus was UnBar Cafe in Cleveland. They ran a Honeycomb campaign which raised $30,675 to help them rehire employees let go after the first lockdown and also shift their services to more e-commerce.

Keep your customers and employees as safe as you can

Going along with the previous point, it’s important to make sure that your employees and customers feel safe in your business. Offering no-contact solutions, social distancing, and wearing masks are still just as important as they were in March 2020.

Many businesses that are struggling right now are those who refuse to comply with vaccine mandates or mask mandates. If your area has mandates such as these, consider the fact that a closed business makes far less revenue than an open business that uses masks.

Look into relief funding

When it comes down to it, you might find yourself in need of some extra funding to help pay employees, deal with working capital, or perform other necessary pivots for your small business. While the status of the next round of government funding is yet to be determined, now might be a good time to consider running a crowdfunding campaign to let your community support you through a tough time.

Valley Tavern in San Francisco did just this in the first wave of the pandemic. The beloved neighborhood bar was at risk because of the lockdowns which would not allow alcohol-only establishments to stay open. However, the owner, Declan Hogan, didn’t want to ask his community for handouts when things were looking a bit tight.

They ran two Honeycomb loan crowdfunding campaigns - the first to deal with working capital issues caused by the lockdowns, and the second to open a kitchen in the bar to allow them to continue doing business.

“Offers of help from our community had been pouring in,” said Declan, “And finally [because of the Honeycomb campaign] I would accept it.”

Let your community have your back throughout the coronavirus pandemic

And consider crowdfunding your relief with a Honeycomb Credit crowdfunded small business loan. Learn more by filling out the form below!


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