Giving Compass' Take:

• Jeffrey Pollack, associate professor of entrepreneurship in North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management, provides seven tips for businesses to stay open during COVID-19. 

• What is the role of donors in supporting small businesses? How can they help them access funds? What is the role of the surrounding community?

• Here are suggestions and recommendations for donors responding to COVID-19. 

Here, Jeffrey Pollack, associate professor of entrepreneurship in North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management, and collaborators explain what small business owners and entrepreneurs can do to keep their businesses alive through the pandemic:

  1. Know that you are not alone. There are lots of people affected by this crisis who are looking for help and support. Provide help and support to those people you can.
  2. Grow the quantity and quality of your social ties. Research tells us that having a lot of social ties helps to buffer entrepreneurs from the negative effects of economic stress—and helps prevent entrepreneurs from wanting to withdraw from their ventures. Even during this time of social distancing, with time and effort you can become more socially engaged and embedded online.
  3. Pivot, if needed. Connect with your customers. What do they need now? What can you do to help them now? Adapt to your customer’s new wants and needs.
  4. Be kind. Lead with compassion and build trust with those around you. Think of ways your venture can be helpful to others in this time of need.
  5. Collaborate. Find ways to collaborate and work with others. For example, in North Carolina, think of the restaurant workers relief fund. Their efforts are much more powerful with many restaurants coming together versus just one.
  6. Make good decisions. Try not to panic. Compile all the information you have, however incomplete it may be, and make the best decision(s) you can. To the extent that you can, avoid making irrevocable decisions.
  7.  Prioritize. Be consciously frugal with your resources and set priorities for the next six months on essential business expenses and resources needed to maintain your core business. Focus on prioritizing the tasks that are needed for your business to survive.

Read the full article about small businesses in COVID-19 by Matt Shipman at Futurity.