08/17/2020|Inside Verizon

#Next20: Reimagining small businesses during COVID-19

By: Rebecca Nicole Laming

Don’t miss tomorrow’s #Next20 on how small business owners are pivoting amid the pandemic.

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Tune in tomorrow at 3 PM ET to listen, learn and find out how you can be part of the change.

Imagine you go into your town, and the shops that once lined the streets of your neighborhood are not there. In their place are vacant storefronts, empty windows, and "For Lease" signs. While small businesses represent the heartbeat of communities, they are now victims of a parallel crisis caused by the continued impact of COVID-19.

According to the Small Business Administration, there are over 30 million small businesses in the U.S, supporting 1.5 million jobs and generating 64% of new jobs. In fact, small businesses employ nearly half of the private workforce. Early in the pandemic, Goldman Sachs reported more than 50% of owners didn't think they could continue operating for more than three months under the current conditions.

However, one of the bright spots from this crisis is watching owners pivot their models based on new societal needs and realities. Larger corporations are attempting the same thing, but local stores and shops have the advantage of being far more flexible and agile. Even with a surge of creativity and newfound resilience, small businesses, especially those that are minority-owned, continue to face steep obstacles and uncertain futures.

Never one to sit on the sidelines, Verizon has been at the forefront of extending support to small business owners, ensuring they have the tools and financial resources to survive and thrive in these challenging times.

#Next20: Tune in tomorrow

In this episode of #Next20, Sibile Marcellus from Yahoo Finance hosts a two-part panel on how small businesses can rise up and rebuild with visionaries Kezia Williams, CEO of the Black upStart, and Elizabeth Gore, co-founder of Hello Alice, as well as small business owners Lyndsey Brantley, CEO of Camellia Alise, and Michelle Swittenberg, co-founder of BRWL Studio.

The aftershocks of this pandemic will be felt by owners for years to come. That's why it's important to remember these establishments are run by people - not boards -  who offer relationships beyond purchases. They sponsor local programs, support school enrichment, and are the first to help their fellow neighbors in need. When we get to the other side of this crisis, let's make sure small businesses come back stronger than ever. Watch tomorrow to see how you can help.

What's #Next20?

#Next20 is a new series of conversations about the top racial, social, environmental, technology and business issues that will define the next 20 years.

Each episode will feature the next generation of leaders and groundbreaking pioneers to explore the inspiration behind their activism and their ideas to build a better future. From this series, we hope to accelerate their calls for change and move the world forward for good.

Calling all visionaries

If you have a suggested speaker for #Next20, please comment below and help us find the visionaries, dreamers, believers and doers. If they are moving and shaking the world for good, we want to shine a light on their efforts, ideas and inspirations as part of this groundbreaking new series.

This is #Next20—the voices of the future.

Need to catch up on #Next20?

Don't worry, we've got you covered with the latest episodes:

Episode 1: Criminal Justice Reform

Episode 2: Making Every Vote Count

Episode 3: American History 101

#Next20 brings together a diverse group of speakers to share their perspectives and experiences on key societal issues. The thoughts and beliefs expressed by the speakers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Verizon.

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