In order to build resilience from the damages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have resorted to cutting costs, which unfortunately meant a lot of jobs were lost. Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have learned to prioritize during this period, concentrating on only the essentials to lower expenses. Some have even switched their production lines to meet changing demands, which will come in handy moving forward.
The rise of remote work is another significant result of the pandemic. While working from home can be challenging for some, it has provided various benefits, especially to the business industry. For example, business expenses were lowered, companies gained access to an unlimited talent pool, there was a boost in productivity, and even a decrease in carbon footprints. Thus, it is highly likely that remote work may become the norm for many companies even when the pandemic subsides.
We have also seen great levels of government support to small businesses to pull them through the pandemic and the growing support and inclusion of freelancers into financial schemes. Knowing that they have this kind of support will encourage more people to join the industry.
However, what we do not know yet is if the government spending will be well targeted to those who need it most or to the businesses and sectors that are in real trouble. Even if these packages roll out perfectly, we need to be wary of the dangers of inflation.
Small business owners have also spent a lot of time during the lockdown strengthening connections and expanding their networks, building blocks for potential collaborations across industries. Hopefully, we will be able to see the fruits of these connections as we emerge from the crisis.
Our biggest weapon at the moment is the vaccine, and its global distribution will give us the confidence to move forward. As more and more people get vaccinated, countries are remaining hopeful that they can fully open up soon. Once restaurants, sports venues, schools, and shops start letting in customers without a set limit, this will significantly boost economies around the world and lift the gloom we have been experiencing for over a year.
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