To mask or not to mask that is the question for many small businesses these days. The hotly debated topic may have a little more clarity for future business plans now thanks to some new data from Scorpion.
In a survey of 2,380 people conducted by YouGov, Scorpion found that 41% of Americans said masking should be enforced by small businesses on their employees. 28% said to let the individual decide, 16% said only for non-vaccinated people, 4% no masks needed, and 11% didn't have an opinion.
The mask debate will carry on long past the pandemic peaks, but for now, it appears that masks are the new Blue booties toward creating a customer experience when visiting inside someone's home.
Communities continue to rise up to support local businesses during the pandemic
Nearly 70% of Americans rose up to support their local community businesses during the pandemic by ordering food, services, or products made or sold by businesses in their communities 34% more often than before. Moreover, nearly 100% (97%) of those who supported those businesses continue to support those businesses helping to boost and support the communities that serve them.
Local businesses were hit especially hard during quarantine in early March 2020, but found innovative ways to connect with their customers. Curbside pick up for food, inspections of house issues or Zoom, and masks required in buildings were just a few after quarantines were lifted.
With the influx of support for local businesses many have continued to offer services like curbside pickup, wearing masks in peoples homes, or Zoom meetings in the legal and medical fields. We expect to see continued innovation by businesses using technology and other services to connect with their communities.
People support local for the trust and reliability
Nearly 60% of those surveyed believe that local businesses perform better with relationships and interaction than national chains, but 1 in 2 believe that national chains have better and broader resources to serve them.
The good news is that digital transformation has made its way to small businesses. With tools like livechat, review management, ad buying with artificial intelligence and other small business technologies available at a lower price these businesses may start to close the gap on the resources that national chains have access too.
Even without the resources though, consumers believe that local businesses are 6x more trustworthy and 2x more reliable than national chains, with 4x saying local businesses are more responsive.
Small businesses can continue to build this trust by responding to reviews or issues quickly. They can offer additional services and support to their communities. It will be important for all small businesses to understand the advantages they have over national chains and incorporate them into their 2022 and beyond business plans.
A Small Business Renaissance is Upon Us
For the businesses that were able to make it through the pandemic, we may see them emerging stronger than they could have ever imagined. Consumers have long thought local businesses were more trustworthy than a national brand. And with the increased support and technology these businesses will be able to grow and thrive in the new normal.
There will still be a lot of businesses who aren’t able to adapt and overcome all that has been thrown against them, but now is a perfect storm of opportunity to connect even better with a community that wants to support them.