How Women-Owned Businesses Can Recover After COVID-19

Library | 12/3/2020
women in business during covid


    
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According to a recent survey by the US Chamber of Commerce, women-owned businesses have been disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic recession and less than half of the women surveyed believe their businesses will rebound in 2021.

   

While small businesses across the nation have been negatively affected by the crisis, female entrepreneurs often face additional challenges that can hamper their recovery, such as a lack of access to funding, support networks and resources and other systemic inequalities.   

   

However, women-owned businesses are a vital force in our nation’s economy, generating $1.8 trillion a year and employing 9.4 million people; it is imperative that they survive this crisis. Here are some tips to help women-owned businesses get through this difficult time:

    
  • Become officially certified as a woman-owned business. This may qualify you for federal contracts set aside for this designation or help qualify you for certain financial assistance.

  • Look for alternative options for funding. If you don’t qualify for traditional commercial loans, explore other options such as applying for grants especially for women-owned businesses, looking into SBA funding options, applying for federal assistance programs when they become available, etc. 

  • Seek out service providers that are looking to help female entrepreneurs. You may be able to get much-needed business services – such as cyber protection, mentoring and more – at discounts or for free.

  • Join a female-focused entrepreneurial group. Take advantage of the many resources that are available especially to women-owned businesses and consider connecting with powerful networking groups such as Valley’s Women in Business Program, which connects and empowers professional women and helps them take their business to the next level.

  
   

Plan Your Recovery

Additionally, like all other businesses struggling during the pandemic, it is important to put a recovery plan in place that considers the following questions.

         
  • Employees: How will you protect your employees and provide a safe place to work? Can your business be done remotely? Can you alternate schedules so there are less people working at the same time, or space people out? Are there policies you can enact to help ensure the staff’s safety, such as wearing masks, sanitization procedures and social distancing measures?

  • Customers: How will you reassure customers it is safe to do business with you? Can you sell online? Offer delivery or contactless curbside pick-up? Have meetings via Zoom? Can you limit capacity or put other measures in place that will prevent crowds from gathering?

  • Products or Services: If the current crisis has reduced or eliminated demand for your products or services, can you pivot to offering something that addresses your customers’ needs now? What capabilities does your business have that you can apply to new business ventures?

  • Communication: How will you get the word out to people about the steps you are taking to ensure their safety? Changes in policies? New hours or capacity limits? How will you promote your business and retain customers without an advertising budget? 

   

As the pandemic continues to grow across the country, it’s important to continue to work on cutting expenses wherever you can and seeking help as you need it. Valley understands that women-owned businesses must succeed for our nation’s economy to recover and thrive.

   

At Valley, we’re here to support female entrepreneurs and professionals get to the next level in business. Sign up for our Women in Business program, learn about available SBA loans, or visit our Business Insight Center for more helpful advice.

 

 
Valley Women in Business
Inspiring Women

Valley Women in Business

Valley's Women in Business program connects and empowers professional women. From entrepreneurs, to executives; we provide networking and educational opportunities that enrich the professional lives of women at every stage of their career.

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