Articles by Kevin Reynolds
Friday, August 21, 2020
If there is one thing the coronavirus pandemic has exposed for small and medium-sized businesses, it is their near-universal competition with Amazon. The online retail giant has come under increased scrutiny during recent months as the company’s stock has increased by over 60%. And now Canada is the latest country outside of the United States to take issue with Jeff Bezos’ behemoth.
Friday, August 14, 2020
Paul Lebo, an event planner in New Jersey, was probably a bit ahead of himself when he started to extol universal principles about his industry. After all, he notes, it’s never a shrewd move to predict the needs of a clientele base comprised of mostly young, volatile people on their most important day. But the event that forced him to check his ego, ironically, wasn’t an event at all. It was the coronavirus pandemic. Every trend he had ever seen went in the opposite direction.
Friday, August 07, 2020
When people call baseball "America's pastime," it has little to do with the country's current interest in the sport. Baseball is the ultimate reliable companion. For 162 nights, baseball will be on in the background of people’s homes and bars. The 60-game, fanless sprint in Major League Baseball for 2020 is the antithesis of what anyone has known about the sport. And now, vendors and communities are paying a price.
Thursday, July 23, 2020
California took some people by surprise recently when Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the largest rollback of reopenings in the country. Proceeded by Los Angeles moving to online schooling for a large portion of the fall semester and closely followed by individual counties leveling their own, stricter precautions, Newsom’s order was part of a slew of indicators that all said the same message: the coronavirus is not going away.
Thursday, July 16, 2020
By all accounts, Britain was leading the United States in its response to the coronavirus before the past week. The British government thought it had potentially avoided some of the major economic fallouts the U.S. had experienced since much of the world came to a halt in March. But on July 7, most experts agree that the bubble Britain was operating in might have burst.
Thursday, July 09, 2020
The Great Recession, by all accounts, was different. It was different in the way it began, the way it ended, and the way people reacted. The current meltdown, Duke University economist Campbell Harvey says, will also be different from the 2008 recession in how the nation climbs out of it. But even in a moment where the root causes of two economic meltdowns can look so different — one from a global pandemic and the other from the housing bubble — small businesses owners are still doing everything to connect the two. Store owners and businesses who were around in 2008 are drawing on lessons from the past to apply to the present, even if economists like Harvey are adamant the big picture will be nothing alike.
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Brett Evje, a restaurant owner in Montana, has a mantra: "Business is a two-way street." It wasn't a particularly groundbreaking statement before March. The relationship between customer and business was never something in question in the world before the coronavirus pandemic. Now, however, the simple phrase has taken on a greater measure of complexity. How businesses make the decision to open or remain closed is largely dependent on that customer-to-business relationship.
Thursday, June 25, 2020
The coronavirus has upended the way small businesses operate for months. One of the longest-lasting impacts of the virus, though, will be how fast and how many small businesses have been forced into investing into technology. With contactless pickup, new payment methods, and cleaning services all far more important than they were at the start of the year, a common denominator in every industry is the need for innovation.
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
If there will ever be a theme of the coronavirus saga for small businesses, it will probably go something like this: Adapt in ways never thought possible. It has already been well-documented how restaurants, offices and other firms have scrambled to adjust with contactless business for an unscripted amount of time. But for gyms, local bookstores and other outlets with a less obvious transition to a virtual world, it has been a much harder three months.
Thursday, May 28, 2020
For a pandemic that has been particularly bad for small businesses across the country, some sectors of the economy are using these months as a revival of sorts. As the demands of consumers have changed, some stagnant industries are getting a second chance. Economists have noted this trend is not uncommon in times like these. In nearly every major economic downturn, there are some small businesses that manage to provide exactly what the economy needs.
Friday, May 15, 2020
Recent studies by the Society for Human Resource Management and economic experts at the University of Chicago have predicted that debt levels for small businesses might be even larger than originally anticipated. The coronavirus pandemic, while it abruptly shuttered most businesses in early March, was originally met with a level of optimism by economists. But as the days have continued to pass, those same experts are seeing signs of an economic recovery that is more closely akin to the 2008 recession.
Thursday, April 30, 2020
Even as Congress and the White House recently approved another $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, many small business owners are feeling it is not enough. Unemployment has reached its highest level in nearly 100 years, and small businesses believe it will be on themselves to stay afloat more so than any federal aid package. "It's probably actually more frustrating today than it was on April 3," Robert Fisher, president and CEO of Tioga State Bank in Spencer, New York, said in an interview with Forbes.
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
The normal cacophony emanating out of small coffee shops around the country has been diminished to a whimper these days. The usual customers, 9-to-5 workers rushing to get their fix of caffeine before heading to the office, are either not allowed in or are not coming at all. This is the reality for businesses, particularly small businesses, across America: diminished or nonexistent work, uncertainty and a race to stay afloat. But as weeks pass by, the effects of the stimulus package are still yet to be felt by small business.
Monday, March 23, 2020
With each succeeding daily briefing from White House and governors’ offices across the country, small businesses are taking more and more of a blow. As sweeping new safety measures are enacted to curb the coronavirus pandemic, businesses have been left to wonder what comes next. A business environment that was very recently reaching 50-year-lows in unemployment, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, is now teetering on the edge with the economy grinding to a halt.