The pandemic of the new coronavirus caused the merchant Olga David, 75, to close the doors of Magazine Apollo, in Santo André, in Greater São Paulo, after 54 years of hard work and dedication.
The businesswoman says that the movement dropped a lot during the pandemic because “people are afraid to leave home and buy more over the internet”.
Magazine Apollo is expected to close in the next few days, after running out of stock on display in the store.
Olga also says that he has not adapted to the new technologies necessary to maintain activity during this period.
“Some stores have invested in digital sales, customer service via WhatsApp and delivery. It is difficult for me to learn everything about technology at this age. ”
The businesswoman joins the sad business statistics that are closing the doors because they are no longer able to maintain financial health during the crisis.
Data from the Business Map, a digital tool of the Ministry of Economy, show that 1.044 million firms were closed in 2020.
For Fabio Gerlach, manager of Sebrae-SP (Support Service for Micro and Small Enterprises in São Paulo), small businesses are the ones that are suffering the most during the pandemic because of reduced movement, lack of working capital and resources to keep up.
“We are in the second phase of the pandemic and those who have survived the crisis so far have managed to adapt in a way. However, they need government support and access to credit to maintain their activities ”, comments Gerlach.
The specialist points out that small companies are responsible for 50% of the jobs created in the country and that they deserve all the support at this moment.
Platforms help promote local trade
Gerlach says that there are several initiatives to encourage consumers to buy from small local businesses. He cites as an example the platform close to home.
In it, rural producers, small retailers (grocers or owners of vegetables, groceries or small markets), shopkeepers and service providers register on the website informing their type of business and delivery area.
Consumers simply put their address or zip code on the website, select the category of establishment they are looking for or use the search function and choose which one to buy from a list of small registered merchants. The negotiation of values, including freight, is direct between the parties, via WhatsApp.
The full address is: https://www.pertinhodecasa.com.br
The initiatives can also be initiated on a voluntary basis by residents of the neighborhood. This is the case of commercial representative Cinara de Liz, 46, creator of the group Good Food in Morumbi, on the social network Facebook.
There, she and the other residents of the region, indicate restaurants and cafeterias they visited – or ordered food during the pandemic – and approved.
The group, which started with around 30 people, currently has around 12 thousand. The idea is to “share good experiences in the neighborhood”, according to the creator.
“I am the moderator of the group’s comments. I only allow good references. After all, each person can have a different perception of the same place. If you liked it, post it. If you didn’t like it, it may be an isolated opinion ”, he comments.
The page only talks about the gastronomic world of Morumbi. Once a week, the merchant can make a “small advertisement” talking about a promotion.
In the pandemic, she says that some merchants who did not offer delivery started making the service available, while others did not endure the crisis and closed their doors.
“I spent the night listening to traders with deep depression, even thinking about suicide, I saw some reinvent themselves and others go bankrupt. In Morumbi, any event that happens, the neighborhood is empty. That’s why I wanted to start publicizing the good things we have to do to keep people around. ”
How to survive
Fabio Gerlach, from Sebrae-SP, says that the moment is sensitive and it is normal for the entrepreneur to feel alone and aimless. So it is important that he seek help and talk to someone.
The expert’s advice is to call the trade union or trade association or SEBRAE. Other precious tips are:
• Carefully assess your spending;
• Reduce all expenses that are possible;
• Eliminate waste;
• Try to negotiate all deadlines;
• Negotiate prices with your suppliers;
• Despite government and bank incentives to reduce microcredit interest, only resort to this if you really need it and are able to pay in the future;
• Negotiate collective vacations, reduced working hours and employees’ salaries, if necessary;
• Make more fractional purchases and maintain a smaller inventory;
• Search for alternatives to keep the business running. Does your business allow online service? If so, invest.
• In the online environment, find a safe platform to sell and invest in advertising on social networks;
• Can you include delivery in your operation? If so, intensify the offer to deliver the product or service at home; and
• Disclose to the population the importance of buying from small businesses.
Where to get help?
The following confirms a series of campaigns created to support the small entrepreneur:
Shop from the neighborhood
Do you, an entrepreneur in any industry, need to access relevant content to overcome the crisis? In partnership with Sebrae, this site gathers important information, as well as solutions for selling over the internet. The movement that encourages local shopping in the neighborhoods arose from an articulation between companies such as Malwee, Stone, Magazine Luiza, Grupo Boticário, Ambev, among others.
The full address is: https://www.movimentocompredobairro.com.br/
Support the small
Any retailer can create their online store for free through this partnership of the e-commerce platform VTEX with ABIESV, an association that brings together suppliers of equipment and services for retail, and CONAJE, which unites associations of young entrepreneurs.
The full address is: http://www.apoieopequeno.com.br/
Save the little ones
Here, micro-entrepreneurs of food, clothing, crafts and services in general can advertise their work to the consumer. There are already more than 3,500 registered businesses present in more than 200 cities across Brazil. The action is free, created by Azulis.
The full address is: https://www.salveospequenos.com.br
Help an entrepreneur
Need to sell your products and services over the internet? The Help an entrepreneur is a kind of very simple virtual showcase, in which the seller signs up and can be activated directly by the consumer. It has companies from various segments and focuses more on São Paulo.
The full address is: https://www.ajudeumempreendedor.com.br/
SOS Me Doll
For the entrepreneur and the freelancer looking for a virtual showcase for their small business, as well as answers to their questions about management and finance. The free access platform was created by journalist and finance specialist Nathalia Arcuri. It also has a space for curating product or service offers with special conditions for the quarantine period.
The full address is: https://sos.mepoupe.com/#/
Having a digital presence is essential now, but many entrepreneurs will need help to produce digital communication, develop strategies and promote sales in this space. That is why the platform connects volunteer communication professionals with entrepreneurs who need support.
The full address is: https://www.designersdopovo.com/
iFood: support for restaurant management
The restaurants gained support in training at this time! IFood is offering the “Course to support restaurant management in times of covid-19”, totally free and focused on the challenges currently faced by establishments in the food segment. The action is supported by SEBRAE and consultants from our team among the teachers .
The full address is: https://online.escolaconquer.com.br/gestao-ifood-conquer/
Buy from Small
One way to anticipate income is to sell services that can be offered in the future. With this platform of the digital bank Cora, the entrepreneur can sell vouchers for their services. It brings together businesses from various states and various segments.
The full address is: https://compredospequenos.cora.com.br/
Support a salon
Are you a professional in the beauty market and cannot open the salon at this time? With the action of the brands Wella, Avec, L’Oréal, Cadiveu, Gama.Professional, Vult, among others, you sell the service vouchers now and schedule the realization in the resumption of activities.
The full address is: https://apoieumsalao.com.br/
A movement created by L’Oréal, Trinks and Stone to support Brazilian beauty salons. The salon registers on the website and the customer can search for the place he wants to support with R $ 50. In addition to being able to use this credit in the future, the customer receives a discount voucher on L´Oreal products at the official Segredos de Salão store.
The full address is: https://apoieumsalao.com.br/
Support a restaurant
Sale of vouchers. The platform allows restaurants, bars, patisseries and cafeterias to register and sell promotional vouchers, sold with a 50% discount to consumers. It has already benefited more than 3 thousand establishments throughout Brazil.
The full address is: https://www.apoieumrestaurante.com.br/home.html
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