Two Minute Tips

Covering local small business pivots

May 1, 2020

Share this article:

As demand for some non-essential goods have plummeted, some businesses have shifted to making masks or other PPE. Photo of face masks by Vera Davidova via Unsplash.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many small businesses to rethink their business models. For some, that means moving their services online or switching to curbside pickup or delivery only. For others, that means manufacturing a totally new product. 

Here’s how to localize this trend. 

Small businesses moving online 

Many businesses that provide services in person—yoga studios, tutoring companies, music teachers—have abruptly shifted to an online service model. Who in your area has successfully made this transition? What tools are they using to deliver services and what other businessowners learn from them? Are they now reaching customers outside of their geographic area or is it mainly customers they’ve worked with in person? What challenges have they encountered?

Small business switching to curbside

When many cities and states ordered non-essential businesses to close, many restaurants shifted to takeout, curbside pickup, or delivery only. As some states prepare to reopen, some retailers will now operate under this model. What changes have they made operationally to fit this new model? What safety precautions are they taking to protect staff? How much demand are they seeing and what are the staffing needs? 

Small businesses making PPE

With many cities and states mandating that only essential businesses remain open, some businesses have pivoted to manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, face shields, counter guards, intubation boxes, or hand sanitizer. This allows them to continue operating as an essential business while serving the greater good and producing products that are in high demand. Who in your area is doing this? Has this enabled them to continue paying employees or even hire additional staff? What safety precautions are they taking? Have then run into any supply chain issues in sourcing materials? Are they donating PPE to hospitals, selling it to consumers, or doing a combination of both? 

Reporter’s takeaway

Locals may be talking about these businesses on Nextdoor or Yelp, so those could be a good place to find leads. Your local chamber of commerce may also have leads on what’s happening in your local business scene. 

More Like This...

Upping the focus on women small business owners

Despite decades of progress women still face many hurdles in the male-dominated business world, but more and more business-savvy women are finding they are their own best boss – and

Two Minute Tips

Sign up now.
Get one Tuesday.

Every Tuesday we send out a quick-read email with tips for business journalism.

Subscribers also get access to the Tip archive.

Get Two Minute Tips For Business Journalism Delivered To Your Email Every Tuesday

Two Minute Tips

Every Tuesday we send out a quick-read email with tips for business journalism. Sign up now and get one Tuesday.

Our New Look
The Reynolds Center for Business Journalism is starting 2023 with a new look that we hope better illustrates our core mission to provide accurate and authoritative resources about business journalism, in order to help both reporters and news consumers understand the importance of business news and to demystify the sometimes arcane topics it covers.
Businesses, markets, and economies move in cycles – ups and downs – which is why our new logo contains a “candlestick” chart representing increases as well as downturns, and serves as a reminder that volatility is an unavoidable attribute of modern life. But it’s also possible to prepare for volatility by being well informed, and informing the general public to help level the information playing field is the primary goal of business journalism. The Reynolds Center is committed to supporting that goal, which is why the candlestick pattern in our logo merges directly into the name of our founding sponsor, Donald W. Reynolds.
Our new logo comes with a shorter name. Business is borderless, and understanding the global links in supply chains, trade, and flows of funds and people is essential to make sense of our fast-paced, globalized world. So we’re dropping the word “National” from our name and will aim to provide content that is applicable to business news globally.
We hope you like the new look. Best wishes for 2023!