Matt Briscoe
There is no doubt that with COVID-19 scares strapping the country the small business community stands to take a significant financial hit. Perhaps there is no place that the hit is harder felt than right here at the local level. Despite assurances of help coming from places like Washington and Austin, experts say that the main source of help will come from within the local business community itself.
“Now is the time that we will need local Chambers, Community groups and Business Associations to really come together,” says Texas based small business expert Ryan Groff. “The help from the government will sure help but the real help will be from within.”
Groff says that now is the time for businesses to really get their marketing plans in place, refine their tools and develop strategies that will help their business grow. He also says that neighborhood and community business associations need to more and more proactive in helping grow these small businesses that are the backbone of the American economy.
“Be very active on social media and get creative with it,” Groff says. “If you are an association then put up banner ads on your website and start to really push them and promote them like you needed to be doing all along.”
Web designer Andrew McGree agrees that social media and internet marketing from the local level is the most affordable and most effective way of helping local small business survive in these very difficult times.

You can have a business bring in a simple banner ad and throw it up on your website for little more than a few minutes worth of effort,” says McGee. “Have the small, area businesses do little social media videos and things of that nature that last about a minute and post them on your business association webpage and social media. That is where the real help comes from.”
Experts with Texas Tech University are also encouraging such action saying that small businesses pay dues for these benefits and now is when they need them the most.
“For a very long time these so-called business associations have sat around collecting money from local businesses and giving them little more than a networking meeting in return,” says Bill Cardon of the National Association of Small Business. “Right now, right this very second is when these groups need to become proactive and get behind their constituents.”
Other ideas include running aggressive Facebook pages, and other social media outlets, learning new skills and taking advantage of low cost marketing ideas.
“Now is not the time to bicker and argue over how much you have paid over time to your business association. Now is the time for them to realize that they have to give get behind those that have been supporting them,” says Cardon. “We are not going to survive off of a stimulus plan or other gimmick from political leaders. We will only survive if we band together.”