3 essential tips for small businesses struggling to stay afloat
Many small businesses are struggling due to economic challenges imposed by the pandemic
Many small businesses are struggling due to economic challenges imposed by the pandemic. In fact, research shows  small businesses owned by Black, Indigenous and People of Color (aka BIPOC owners) have been hit harder than others.
The National Bureau of Economic Research reports that between February and April 2020, the number of Black-owned businesses declined by 41%, Latinx-owned businesses fell by 32% and Asian-owned businesses dropped by 25%.
Meanwhile, small businesses declined 21%. This is concerning, especially since small businesses create 1.5 million jobs annually and account for 64% of new jobs created in the U.S., according to the Small Business Administration.
As BIPOC business owners look to the future, their inherent entrepreneurship and ambition, combined with external support, will help them recover and grow faster.
Following are a few tips businesses should continue to keep in mind to be successful:
Take Advantage of Technology
Businesses have embraced digital business models to safely stay connected to customers. Even as restrictions continue to evolve, there will be an ongoing need to supplement in-person business with digital service.
Some businesses have turned to technology partners to determine the optimal technology for their business.
When looking for a technology partner, consider:
- Easy and quick account access and the ability to retrieve or reset passwords as needed.
- Remote management to remain in touch and customize product features, adjust services or troubleshoot.
- Constant connection through voice features like call forwarding, voicemail, and one-touch conference calls.
Keep Communication Lines Open
With the shift to online business, many face-to-face interactions were replaced with virtual interactions. Social media, video streaming and conferencing continue to be powerful channels for maintaining customer engagement. Consider using these channels to inform customers about new business changes or solicit their feedback.
Meanwhile, cloud-based communication, messaging, and collaboration tools  can keep employees productive and updated.
Apply for Marketing or Technology Support
To provide support for BIPOC businesses, Comcast made a three-year commitment to offer marketing support, advertising creative, production and media services and technology consulting through an innovative program known as Comcast RISE, which stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment.”
Comcast’s assistance may include any of the following, depending on each recipient’s needs:
- Strategic consulting: Comcast will help businesses form strategies for growth in the current environment.
- Advertising assistance: Comcast specialists will help create TV campaigns.
- Creative production: Comcast will assist with production of TV commercials while advising on media strategy and placement schedules.
- Technology makeovers: Comcast will install computer equipment and provide Internet, voice and cybersecurity services.
Starting the Year Right
Without a doubt, BIPOC-owned businesses have a lot to juggle this year. Despite the challenges, they continue to reinvent themselves and prove their resiliency. By partnering with the right technology experts, pursuing assistance programs and keeping an open line of communication, these businesses can ensure that their operations are running smoothly.
If you are a BIPOC business owner who could use additional support, visit ComcastRise.com.
Robert Thompson is the vice president of Comcast Business for the Mountain West Region, which serves 154,000 business customers and operates across Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Tucson, AZ and parts of Idaho. Thompson has more than 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry and has been with Comcast Business for nearly 6 years, serving in a variety of roles. For more information, call 855-211-6987 or visit https://business.comcast.com/denver.
(This sponsored content was provided by Comcast Business)