Instagram works to support small business during the Covid-19 Crisis
Following the outbreak of the coronavirus world wide, governments around the globe have been forced to put their countries under lockdown. Consequently, thousands of small businesses are struggling to stay optimistic, with their sales and business struggling as a result of the decreased customer footfall and demand.
Many restaurants, shops, and cafes have been forced to close their doors for the foreseeable future to ensure their staff and customers stay safe during these uncertain times. Closing stores and restaurants is the safe and responsible thing to do for business owners, but despite this, many have been left feeling anxious and in dread of potential long term closure.
As an attempt to help save these small businesses, allowing them to reopen when possible, Instagram has introduced a range of new features to encourage people to support their favorite local businesses. This scheme has seen three main features created: Gift cards, food orders, and fundraisers, all of which are working to ensure small businesses are supported during this difficult time.
Small businesses are also able to raise money through a new fundraiser function on the Instagram app. Business owners can share fundraising stickers to fundraisers that they have created. Users can simply click on the sticker which will take them onto facebook and they are able to donate. The ease of these processes make it a very valuable scheme, and is predicted to make a huge difference to keeping small businesses running.
The last feature that Instagram created is food ordering. Customers are now able to visit the businesses Instagram story or profile and simply click the ‘order now’ button. This will take them onto the business website of a full menu, and they are given an option of delivery or pick up.
It became very clear the extent to which small businesses were suffering following the release of a survey by Goldman Sachs which revealed that 96% of U.S. small businesses say they have been affected by COVID-19 and that, 51% of small businesses say they will only be able to operate for 0-3 months before having to close permanently. These shocking statistics clearly indicate the need for some sort of change and that businesses needed support from the government and the public.
At the moment, these features created by Instagram only apply to those who live in Canada or the US. However, the damage to business is being seen world-wide and Instagram has guaranteed that this will be extended to the rest of the world as soon as possible.
Why is it important to support local businesses?
There is so much value in small, local businesses which needs to be preserved. Small businesses create a sense of community amongst towns and villages and sustain buzz and excitement to town centres. A lot of small local businesses share a considerable amount of revenue to the local economy, which therefore builds up the area and attracts others to the area (which will consequently bring in more money).
Justin Osofsky, Instagram’s chief operating officer showed his support for smaller businesses when he recently stated that “Small businesses are the backbone of local communities and restaurants are the soul of neighborhoods: they bring people together and build community.” Instagram is using its large platform and popularity to help support small businesses and ensure that once this global pandemic is over, society can return to normal, with little stunt to the local and national economy.
Through this chaotic and anxious time, it is important that we all help and support each other. Change can only take place if we all contribute and care. Look out for these Instagram features, and be sure to donate when possible.
Stay safe and stay positive.