In March, the coronavirus outbreak caused a global stock market drop, something that has since been compared to the 2008 financial crisis.\r\n\r\nOn March 16 2020, the Dow Jones plummeted 3,000 points – the worst percentage fall since Black Monday in 1987.\r\n\r\nFigures show that big companies are suffering, but it would be a mistake to underestimate the pandemic’s impact on other key players in Western economies: small business owners and their staff.\r\n\r\nIn the US, small businesses account for over 99 percent of all businesses, creating millions of new jobs every year and employing almost half of all US workers, from independent contractors to temporary and full-time employees.\r\n\r\nSimilar figures apply to the UK. At the start of 2019 there were 5.82m SMEs in the country, accounting for 99.9 percent of the business population and employing 16.6m people.\r\n\r\nHowever, with lockdown measures currently in place for nonessential businesses, entrepreneurs might find it difficult to maintain business continuity in the upcoming months.\r\n\r\nIf you’re worried about future activity, now is the time to think outside the box and find innovative ways to keep afloat.\r\n\r\nHere’s a few tips that might help you preserve and reinvent your business during the coronavirus pandemic.\r\n\r\nApply for government aid \r\n\r\nWe’re living in extraordinary times and as a result, governments are putting forward extraordinary measures to save local and regional economies, from big players in the stock market to the self-employed and SMEs.\r\n\r\nIf you’re based in the US, you’re able to access the $2tn economic stimulus package announced last week.\r\n\r\nIf your businesses employ less than 500 people, you can qualify for two types of loans: a standard SBA Loan or the new, coronavirus-specific SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).\r\n\r\nTo apply for the former, you’ll need to file your taxes and prepare a personal financial statement as soon as possible. If you’ve had your business for over three years, it’s recommended that you put together three years of business and personal tax returns, as well as your monthly operating expenses from March through September 2019 and forecasts and budgets for 2020.\r\n\r\nTo apply for an EIDL, aside from the regular SBA procedures, you’ll have to provide a personal guarantee such as a lien on your business and your home. You also need to show you’ve been highly affected by the pandemic – for example, that you haven’t been able to pay wages or regular business expenses.\r\n\r\nIf you’re based in the UK, you may be eligible for the new governmental financial-relief package, currently set at £350bn.\r\n\r\nYou can access loans through a new landing facility established with the Bank of England, all available free of interest for the first six months, and a cash grant worth £10,000 to alleviate imminent financial emergencies.\r\n\r\nIf your business is in the retail, leisure or hospitality sectors, you’ll also be eligible to a year-long exemption from paying business rates.\r\n\r\nMoreover, Chancellor Sunak has pledged to create an Employment Support Package to help employers of small businesses retain their staff.\r\n\r\nApply for corporate aid\r\n\r\nGovernments aren’t the only institutions taking action to support SMEs, with big corporations promising to help entrepreneurs and their staff stay afloat during the pandemic.\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nFacebook recently announced the launch of a Small Business Grants Program that will provide US$100m in cash to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. Even though applications aren’t open yet, you can sign up to their update scheme and be notified before the launch. \u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nSimilarly, the James Beard Foundation is gathering funds to support SMEs in the food and beverage industry.\r\n\r\nYelp has pledged to help entrepreneurs by giving out US$25m worth of free advertising, products and services on the platform.\r\n\r\nMove online\r\n\r\nIn such volatile times, moving online can give you the certainty you need to keep your business going.\r\n\r\nIf your business provides online-based services, having your employees work from home will help you maintain productivity rates and retain clients. Use chat and video conference apps such as Microsoft Teams, Slack and Zoom to bring your team together and encourage communication. This is key to successfully manage your employees and keep morale up.\r\n\r\nIf your business sells physical products, transitioning to online retail and delivery can help you tackle the loss of in-store foot traffic and retain your staff.\r\n\r\nMake sure to invest in a strong online infrastructure where you can offer safe shipping and pickup solutions. This could take a while, and you might need to hire a software engineer, but in the long run it could help you remain in business.\r\n\r\nNourish social media partnerships\r\n\r\nNow more than ever, social media can be a legitimate source of income. This doesn’t mean you need to become an influencer overnight, but investing in digital partnerships might give your business an edge.\r\n\r\nUse platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram to look for companies whose products you can incorporate in your services. Firms that rely on e-commerce will appreciate your platform, especially if you can provide consumer analytics to help boost traffic.\r\n\r\nContent creation can be a money-making machine and a great way to put your staff to work remotely, so you might also want to incorporate ads and affiliate content into your digital presence.\r\n\r\nIf you’re not familiar with content creation, it might be worth reaching out to media and marketing brands – you won’t regret it.\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nRead more about Covid-19\r\n\r\nCoronavirus Student Hub\r\n\r\nEverything Students Need to Know About the Novel Coronavirus\r\n\r\nConfused About Coronavirus? 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Duolingo Might Offer Alternative\r\n\r\nHow to Take the GRE and GMAT at Home\r\n\r\nChina\u0027s National University Entrance Exam Will Go Ahead in July\r\n\r\nStudying online\r\n\r\n80% of UK Students Struggling Financially Due to COVID-19\r\n\r\nBusiness As Usual: ESCP Replaces In-Person Project With Online Version\r\n\r\nWhy Coronavirus Will Cause an Ed-Tech Boom\r\n\r\nShould UK Students Get A Refund For The Academic Year?\r\n\r\nMajority of International Students Happy to Study Online\r\n\r\nBenefits of Online Degrees, According to Students\r\n\r\nHow to Successfully Work From Home\r\n\r\nHow to Organize Your Routine When Working From Home\r\n\r\nHow to Set Up Your Home Office When Studying Your MBA\r\n\r\nHow to Stay Focused When Studying Your MBA at Home\r\n\r\nHow to Stay Engaged While Studying Online\r\n\r\n75 Percent of Students Expect Lower Tuition Fees For Studying Online\r\n\r\n9 Top Universities Offering Free Online Courses\r\n\r\nWhy Hybrid Teaching Might Be the Future of Online Courses\r\n\r\nUK Students Will Pay Full Tuition Fees If Classes Remain Online, Say Government\r\n\r\n10 Online Courses to Boost Your Business Curriculum\r\n\r\nLife in lockdown\r\n\r\nQuiz: Which Quarantine Cliché Are You?\r\n\r\nMeet the Charity Helping International Students Left Homeless By COVID-19\r\n\r\nRe-opening Businesses in COVID-19: Pros and Cons\r\n\r\nWhat It’s Like Being in B-school During the Covid-19 Pandemic\r\n\r\nLife Under Quarantine: How Coronavirus is Affecting University Students\r\n\r\nCoronavirus: Life is Changing on Campus in the United States\r\n\r\n25 Productive Things To Do While Social Distancing\r\n\r\nFive Inventive Things B-School Students Can Do While Social Distancing\r\n\r\nHow to Keep Employee Morale High While Working From Home\r\n\r\nHow UK Students Can Help Out During the Coronavirus Crisis\r\n\r\n9 Books All B-School Candidates Should Read While Social Distancing\r\n\r\nHow to Avoid Back Pain When Working From Home, According to a Chiropractor\r\n\r\nBusiness School Professors Recommend Activities to Pass the Time in the Pandemic\r\n\r\nStaying healthy\r\n\r\nFive Ways to Look After Your Mental Health in Lockdown\r\n\r\nHow Can Students Stay Healthy At Home?\r\n\r\nShould You Try to ‘Improve Yourself’ in Quarantine?\r\n\r\nFun and Unusual Ways Students are Staying Active in Quarantine\r\n\r\nHow You Can Stay Happy and Healthy While Studying at Home\r\n\r\nCareers advice\r\n\r\nThe \u0027New Normal\u0027: Why Digital Skills Matter More Than Ever\r\n\r\nThe EdTech Sector Grows as Other Industries Take a Hit from the Coronavirus Crisis\r\n\r\nBounce Back Loans: Everything You Need to Know for Your Small Business\r\n\r\nStaying Hopeful: MBA Grads on Job Hunting During a Recession\r\n\r\nWhat Does Coronavirus Mean For The Hospitality Industry?\r\n\r\nHow to Adapt Your Small Business During a Pandemic\r\n\r\nHow to Get Hired Without Leaving the House\r\n\r\nHow 2020 Graduates Can Find Jobs Amid Coronavirus\r\n\r\nEverything Students Need to Know About Virtual Internships\r\n\r\nStaying Afloat: UK Small Business Owners on Adapting to a Pandemic\r\n\r\nHow My B-School Experience Is Helping Me Run a Hospital During Covid-19\r\n\r\nSummer Internships Are Going Online\r\n\r\nSafeguarding Talent During Coronavirus: Will Internships Go Digital?