Finding a Need and Filling It

As featured in the Fairfield Community Magazine: “One of the things you learn in Marketing 101 is to “Find a Need and Fill It!” That is precisely what Sarah Fairweather has done after being laid off this spring. She has discovered a way to be a positive force for small businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” -Jackie Devine, Editor of Fairfield Community Magazine

COVID-19 has affected the entire world beyond what anyone could have ever fathomed. Millions of Americans are now unemployed. Local shops, restaurants, and bars were shut down all across the United States. Small businesses, in particular, seemed to be the most affected by the Pandemic.

Many small business owners struggled to learn how to turn their business from a primarily brick and mortar style to an online or virtual re business. Small business owners asked, “how do I let people know I’m still here and that I’m still open?” Well, that’s where I come in. After being laid off due to COVID-19, I quickly realized I could put my skills to use. I could help small businesses tell their story—Especially, small companies tend to overlook educational services, hairstylists, mom and pop cafes.

After reaching out to Yvonne Cumberland, Texas Educational Consultants owner, and Nyam Nyam Cafe owner and chef, Mikhail Gorbyachev I realized a similarity between both stories. Neither received funding from the paycheck protection program (PPP). They were both told the money was gone by the time they applied. Most people assume all small businesses received funding from the government, but in reality, they received the same stimulus check as the rest of us. These small business owners rely on our business to pay their bills, put food on their table, and support their family.

Shortly after meeting with Yvonne and Mikhail, I decided to research how other small businesses have been affected across Houston and found a startling survey conducted in March by the Greater Houston Partnership. According to GHP President and CEO Bob Harvey, “As Houstonians, we can recover quickly if we can keep these businesses alive and they can return to work and rehire employees. To do that, we’ve got to get through the next few weeks without losing these companies entirely.”

Highlights of the survey included:

Small businesses are feeling the impact of the COVID-19 slowdown.

· 18% are unable to receive supplies or services

· 29% are unable to deliver goods or services

· 34% have reduced employee headcount

· 17% are operating at zero capacity

· 59% are operating below half capacity

· 91% have lost revenue

· 41% can survive the slowdown/shutdown for only 1 to 4 weeks

Economic uncertainty is high.

· 64% concerned about finances and liquidity

· 58% concerned about declining consumer confidence

· 53% concerned about the U.S. or global recession

· 55% “unsure” if they will have to make permanent layoffs in the next six months

If you are a small business and would like to share your story, please reach out. I am here to help you for little or no charge depending upon your need. I also create graphics (posters, logos, social media posts, etc.), social media campaigns and strategies, and advise you on best social media practices for company accounts. Please visit my website at http://sarahfairweather.com/ to see how I can help you during this difficult time.