This May, we’re celebrating National Small Business Month by recognizing the success of small businesses over the past few years as they navigated extraordinary challenges. Through digital and mobile technologies, small businesses in America not only survived the past three years but thrived in the unprecedented environment.
We know small businesses are the engines that drive our economy. In fact, more than 33 million small businesses exist across the county, employing more than 61 million people1. And during the past three years, these small businesses and their employees faced myriad challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic including supply disruption, labor shortages and inflation.
To meet these challenges, small businesses aren’t standing on the sidelines, they’re embracing new technology and digital tools to attract new customers, improve efficiency and leverage and streamline logistics.
Some ways that small businesses are embracing technology more than ever include:
- Social media: Small businesses use social media to market new products, connect with customers and attract new business.
- Delivery apps: For restaurants and retailers that cannot afford to purchase their own delivery vehicles, delivery apps help small businesses reach their customers with delivery services.
- Remote work: Small businesses are utilizing teleconferencing and telework to increase remote working opportunities for their employees. For small businesses, remote work can help increase employee productivity and engagement and lead to new business opportunities.
- A poll from 2022 found that about 70% small business owners said the change to remote work had given them certain business opportunities they wouldn’t have had otherwise2.
- Touchless payments: Customers can make payments using applications on their smartphone using apps at restaurants, grocery and retail stores.
- Waiting list management: Restaurants can text customers when their table is available.
- QR codes: Customers are using QR for digital menus, to learn more about products and to give customer reviews.
- Virtual classes: Small businesses are utilizing video conferencing tools to provide fitness classes, therapy sessions or virtual cooking classes.
These technologies are making business better for our small businesses and we know how important it is to help them continue to stay connected. Small businesses today depend on devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops to utilize these technologies to move faster and compete in our digital-first world.
- In fact, 86% of small businesses say technology helped their business survive during the pandemic3.
But these devices don’t work on their own. Smartphones, tablets, laptops and other connected devices are powered by broadband internet and advanced technologies like 5G.
That’s why it’s critical we continue investing in our fiber and 5G networks, because connection changes everything.
With the power of connectivity behind them, small businesses will continue to serve as the engine that drives America’s economy, bringing jobs and innovation to our local communities.