The outbreak of COVID-19 has shed light on the importance of local customers to small businesses. Many businesses are experiencing an abundance of fear, uncertainty, and a significant decrease in foot traffic to their stores amidst the outbreak of the virus.
Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible businesses in over 30 countries. These grants can help businesses with rent and operational costs, maintaining workforce, and connecting with customers. Facebook will begin taking applications in the coming weeks, but you can sign up for updates to be notified when more information is available.
Across the nation, many businesses are closing up shop to prevent the spread of COVID-19. One of the most important things you can do for your business is to keep yourself safe and informed. Following credible sources like the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control. Stay up-to-date with information from your local government health department so you are aware of any changes that may affect your business.
Since it has been advised to keep gatherings to a minimum and many businesses have come to a close during this time, try hosting online events. This may consist of hosting an online webinar or a live sale on Facebook or Instagram. Many restaurants are also utilizing online or phone orders for customers to pick up on the go.
During this time of uncertainty, it is important to be transparent with your customers. There will likely be questions as well as requests, so consider getting ahead by creating templated responses or instant-replies to prepare for the influx of messages. You can also keep in contact with your customers via Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct Message.
Customers will likely have many questions regarding orders, refunds, memberships, etc. depending on your products/services. Create an FAQ page that customers can reference for detailed answers.
Above all, prioritize your safety and health as well as the safety and health of your small business.