Post COVID-19: 5 adjustments businesses are making

By Abby Bootman

The Coronavirus pandemic has shown us that the business world is not as powerful and stable as we used to think. Many businesses, technologies, manufacturers, and industries stopped working properly instantly. It’s been only a few months but we can already see the changes this outbreak has brought to our world. 

Businesses thriving under quarantine

However, there are some business areas that thrived under such conditions. Since due to the quarantine people were staying home most of the time, it is expected that online businesses have increased their revenues and gained a new audience. This is true for delivery services, online entertainment providers, online shops, etc. For example, the Amazon company has opened thousands of job positions during the quarantine. The reason is quite clear – staying at home on quarantine, people can't go to physical malls and buy the stuff they need.

Another vivid example is the gambling industry. Online casinos not only haven't suffered from great losses but actually sprung over the quarantine. The research conducted in the UK has shown that virtual betting has boosted by 40%. Since the end of March when landbased casinos and gambling places were closed, a huge effort was put into developing an online industry. For example, the new security algorithms have been introduced into the field making the provably fair influence on the gaming much more noticeable.

The main ‘gaps’ the Coronavirus has shown us

Now let's see how the Coronavirus has affected business in general and look at the main problems companies struggled with.

The lack of crisis strategies. As the situation has shown, the lion’s share of businesses of different fields did not have suitable crisis plans. This means that they had no reserve funds, emergency policies, and guides on what to do when the pandemic hits. It has led to huge losses in resources and massive employee lay-offs. The research conducted by CNBC has shown that over 7.5 mln. of small-sized enterprises will shut down if the situation continues.

Inability to move an activity to an online field. Lack of online instruments like websites, apps, and CRM systems caused organizations to shut instead of continuing their work online. Naturally, some kinds of businesses cannot be transferred to the online world, but digitalization can help those businesses too.

Gaps in legislation. We became accustomed to the fact that laws regulate every single business-related action. But in the situation with the COVID pandemic, a lot of issues in professional areas remained unclear. These include laying-off the employees due to the decrease in companies’ volumes of activity, paying taxes during quarantine, monetary help to small businesses, etc. 

5 adjustments the business owners are making after the pandemic

But where’s the problem – there’s a solution to it. This unprecedented situation has shown us the holes in international, economic, and business policies that need to be covered. Since most of the businesses are re-opening and starting to work in their usual mode they need to create the “restoring strategy” with new rules and policies. Let’s look at some modifications already made by businesses in the post-COVID-19 world.

1. Creating strategies for unexpected situations. 

Such measures should be taken in all areas of work relations – workforce, resources, internal policies, and regulations. It means building a set of rules to follow in case if the crisis situation will continue or happen again. Now, the companies are aware of their weak spots and possible issues, so they are able to create emergency plans. 

2. Regulating the relations with the personnel.

 Consumer research shows that over 60% of workers from all over the world are afraid of losing their job in case if the current outbreak repeats. In fact, a massive amount of people have lost their jobs over the last few months. It needs to change and companies should start putting employees’ interests first. This can be done by improving their employment agreements with clauses on protective measures during situations like this one. Increasing employees’ trust in their organizations will be beneficial to both businesses and the people, working in them.

3. Digitalization of businesses. 

Around 30% of workers in the US were working from home before the pandemic. This number doubled during the quarantine as companies started to realize that a huge fraction of work can be done via the computer. In the next few years, we will see the digital transformations in the fields that previously were functioning offline. For example, the healthcare structures will introduce telecommunication for regular check-ups and finances will be developing the tokenization methods of carrying out the economic activities .

4. Building online instruments for work and moving the data into cloud services. 

This crisis has shown us the lack of efficient tools for regulating employees’ work and safe places for storing sensitive information. The digital world has seen an increase in the number of security breaches due to insufficient instruments for data storing. As avoiding the future progressing of the illness and maintaining the low quantities of ill people is still the first priority, companies have to make sure that all the needed data is available for the employees to continue working from home.

5. Restructuring the business. 

All the measures taken in our new reality need to be cost-effective. For example, instead of renting huge offices and spending millions of dollars on keeping the employees in one place, companies are starting to work remotely more often. Statistics show that in 2020, around 80% of businesses in spheres like IT, digital marketing, etc. are likely to change the format of functioning to work from home. The situation has also led to the rapid development of new efficient and low-input solutions in banking and finance fields.

To summarize, the COVID-19 outbreak has shown us the real values in our world and forced us to concentrate on things that really matter e.g. – people’s lives and the ability to continue working in crisis situations. Let’s hope that humanity will manage to analyze this experience and avoid such situations in the future or, at least, survive them with minimum losses.

Different Coronavirus Hardship Loans

The current pandemic has affected pretty much everyone at this point. One of the most prevalent effects has been a drain on people’s finances. Although there have now been two stimulus packages passed by Congress, many might still have to turn to loans in order to stay afloat. Because of this, some personal loan lenders are now offering small loans at a low-rate to help people through their financial crises. 

If you need a small amount of cash in order to get you over a hump, there are many local nonprofits, charities, and credit unions that are willing to give small-dollar loans. Here are some of them:

1. Salary Finance

They with employers and Equifax in order to provide loans and give companies more information about their employees’ financial well-being. Worker credit information remains anonymous, but employers can use this information to see which groups of people are facing financial distress and help them. 

Loans are offered through human resources at most companies and they range from $1,000 to $5,000 with an APR of 5.9% to 19.9% and a borrowing term of 6 to 36 months. 

2. Capital Good Fund

This lender offers crisis relief loans to people in Texas, Florida, Rhode Island, Illinois, Delaware, and Massachusetts. Loans are offered at amounts that range from $300 TO $1,500 with an APR of 5% and a term of 15 months. Payments only start after the first 3 months and can be deferred for more time if COVID continues. With this said, however, interest will still accrue during this deferment time period. 

In order to get approved for a loan, this lender looks at one’s banking history instead of their current income and expenses. There is no application, fees, or collateral and decisions about whether or not Crisis Relief Loans are approved or not will take two days. 

3. Online Lenders

If you need an emergency loan, online lenders can be a fast option if you have good credit and a steady-enough income. 

4. Credit Unions

Loans offered through credit unions often have a lower APR and more flexible terms. If you don’t have the best credit, you also have a higher chance of getting approved through these nonprofits. Additionally, some offer payday alternative loans which are usually safer than short-term loans with high interest. 

Other lenders, for larger loans, have been accepting deferred payments and no late fees for people struggling. Here are a list of some of these kinds of lenders:

1. HSBC

You can now request a hardship plan if you struggle to pay a personal loan from HSBC. 

2. Discover

At the beginning of the pandemic, they implemented a deferral period of one-month. They have since discontinued this, but there is still opportunity for this if one reaches out. 

3. OppLoans

This company offers 30 days of deferred payments for people struggling because of the pandemic. After this period, people can apply for a 90-day hardship program that cuts payments in half while not affecting one’s credit scores. 

4. Upstart

They offer loan modifications, such as forbearance and an extended loan term, to some people who are affected because of COVID. 

5. Best Egg

This company lets customers choose options such as adjusted payments and a debt management program that lets people decrease monthly payments on their debts. They also offer payment deferrals. 

6. Wells Fargo

They now let people defer monthly payments for three billing cycles in a row. Even if you have received forgiveness in the past, you can still apply for more. 

https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/loans/personal-loans/covid-19-loan-options-and-payment-relief

https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

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