The Call: Enact Policies that Support Small Businesses to Startup by Creating more Demand
Entrepreneurs will play a key role in reviving economies post COVID-19. It is therefore indispensable for governments to have policies and programs that encourage small businesses to remain operational. Governments need to take up policy actions that will push forward small businesses through consumption. Innovative packages will be key to encouraging small businesses to thrive and salvage the economies from the current downturn. Expansionary fiscal policy could increase purchasing power and steer businesses forward.
At the same time, tax policy could be targeted at small businesses as an incentive to continue operations and drive economic recovery. The government could also set up a fund that objectively supports small businesses targeted at the most vulnerable groups in the pandemic like women and youth.
Artisan with love highlighted the importance of the digital presence as a marketing tool for businesses. Easy as it may sound it takes hard work, time, and money to be present in the digital platform and be a preferred brand in the midst of huge competition. Despite being a trained digital marketer, Tiffany still found brand awareness to be a challenge. For this reason, small businesses have to find a cutting edge that makes their businesses stand out from the rest. To put up the good competition, small businesses require funds and a team that can take advantage of their synergies and come up with innovative branding strategies.
Another way that small startup businesses gain visibility is through venture capital. This has been impacted by the COVID-19 and seen about 18 percent  of investors back out of deals. A direct relationship exists between brand awareness and the volumes of sales made by businesses. It not only requires finances but also awareness to make a brand a household name. It is easier for businesses who have created awareness and buy-in by their engagements in the market over time, unlike small businesses in need of innovative digital and social media platforms presence.
The Call: Finance Small Businesses through Grants and No-Interest Loans
Availing financial support to small businesses allows them to advertise their services and products thus creating brand awareness. At the same time, they generate employment opportunities since they can afford to employ in support of their business endeavors and the existence of resilient supply chains. With increased employment, small businesses create synergies and find an avenue to concentrate on creating brand awareness and increase sales.
The conditions that come with the funds are more important for the small businesses and it is crucial for governments to take into account their place in economic recovery and the prevailing circumstances. It is thus important to either give grants or no-interest loans as an avenue to support small businesses.
Small businesses are an integral part of the success of an economy. In the wake of the pandemic, the envisioned recovery is unattainable if small businesses are made dispensable by governments. This article makes a clarion call to governments to not only have programs that support small businesses but also create an operating and regulatory environment that makes them thrive.
Written by Gayline Vuluku, an economist and a public policy analyst
Edited by Shruti Kumari