Soon after reading an email from my bank explaining the PPP Loan funds had run out, I called my small business owner friends to ask them about their experiences. As it turns out, following my not-so-representative survey and an intense twitter search, I concluded that the applications that were submitted to smaller and local banks had far more success than those made through larger and traditional ones.
Thus, I questioned my decision to open my business’ bank account in a large bank, which, at the time, seemed more reliable and with improved technology. I hadn't questioned this choice in four years. I then asked myself, why not go local? Perhaps to a bank that doesn't have one ATM in every corner, but one that could offer more personalized attention and better credit conditions? Does the idea of "shop local" go further? Bank local, maybe? I honestly don't know. What I do believe is that this crisis will produce significant cultural shifts that will change the way we consume goods and services.
We will probably see fans attending concerts with face masks. Maybe, the people in Group 6 will board the plane first. But, I’m particularly interested in the consumer habit shifts that we will experience after this pandemic. Far more than the "what will we buy?" I ask myself, "how will we buy and from who?"
Concerning the "how," e-commerce is the evident answer. With regard to the "who," I place my bets on of the conscious consumer— the one who looks to buy items that last, the one that enjoys brands with authentic stories, the one that supports local businesses, even while buying online. On the one hand, we face a communicational challenge: how do these brands tell their stories on a more personal, authentic, and relevant way? On the other hand, there’s the pressure the bottom line. The challenge of how these businesses, without venture capital funding, will surpass the current crisis and endure the uncertain economic future.
New players in the financial world will have an essential role in assuring the survival of smaller players. In past years, we've seen how new alternatives like Quickbooks Capital, PayPal Working Capital, and Shopify Capital, have streamlined access to capital by offering an alternative for small and medium sized businesses.
Another example worth pointing to is Clearbanc, a borrowing solution mainly designed for e-commerce businesses. Through solely connecting an online store with Clearbanc, in less than a day, qualifying stores will have access to capital for advertising or inventory. The best part of Clearbanc's loans is that the payments are made relative to your sales— simply brilliant! 💡
Many of the shifts that we are seeing in consumer patterns are trends that deeply accelerated during the past few weeks. Independent brands are now facing the challenge to see change as an opportunity to adapt, innovate or pivot.
So, should I switch banks? 🤔
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