Earlier this week, the presidency announced that some businesses will be able to re-open under lockdown level 3. While the conditions for re-opening, as well as a confirmed date, are still in the offing, businesses in the country will need to prepare, which is why Visa recently launched its Small Business Hub locally.

The online platform, which features tools, resources and information aimed specifically at SMEs at this time, was made accessible on 17th June and looks to assist small businesses struggling with the chaos of COVID-19 and lockdown.

“The pandemic is impacting business everywhere. The findings of the COVID-19 CEMEA Impact Tracker suggest shoppers have changed how they shop and this is already having a major impact on how merchants do business,” notes Visa country manager, Aldo Laubscher.

“As consumers adapt to the current restrictions, many have changed how they shop and turned to online outlets for their shopping. These changes present challenges but also enormous opportunities for all merchants, including small businesses,” he adds.

Many of the tools and resources that Visa is providing in the Small Business Hub have been tailored as a result of the company’s latest report and findings.

This includes the fact that 64 percent of consumers making their first online purchase as a result of COVID-19, along with only 5 percent of merchants embracing ecommerce during the pandemic.  As such there is an opportunity that local small businesses need to be addressing, and therefore need to be online and operating, if they are not already.

Another interesting finding from the report is an estimated 30 percent increase in contactless payments at stores, which merchants will need to cater for, and Visa will no doubt like to assist with.

As such, much like a myriad industries and sectors, small businesses need to ensure that they are adequately prepared for the new normal.

[Image – Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash]