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Hackernoon logoA Support Hub and Resources for Digital Marketing Support to SMBs during COVID-19 by@sarahevans

A Support Hub and Resources for Digital Marketing Support to SMBs during COVID-19

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@sarahevanssarahevans

Digital correspondent and consultant

Even the most savvy of business owners can't help but be impacted by COVID19. Why? Because their customers are--and that inherently impacts them. Small businesses will bear the majority of the burden as they are the ones most likely to have less financial runway to remain hindered or closed for a month or more at a time. It's scary, it's overwhelming. Large and mid-sized corporations are huddling (in a social distanced capacity)

There are lists of resources where small businesses can look for relief funding, there are companies offering goodwill gestures to reduce or eliminate cost for a period of time and, of course, the helpers and doers who offer what they can to support others.

Most pressing are the previously brick and mortar businesses who must urgently move to or create and market a full-time online business (if their industry allows).

From distinguishing domain names (yes, there are SMBs without a web presence) to learning about PPC, SEO, content marketing, lead generation, PR and more, it's a very overwhelming undertaking.

Even the brand goodwill gestures that exist, are mostly one-off tools that are not packaged in one, comprehensive way. Unless you're "in the marketing know," it's tough to know what to use.

The Promo.com team launched a COVID-19 Support Hub for SMBs designed specifically for businesses who need comprehensive marketing support right now.

The hub is a marketing centrepiece and reduces the amount of research needed for SMBs struggling right now.

They are also transforming their FB group of 5,000 people to focus exclusively on COVID 19 crisis support for SMBs.ย (In addition to offering a free Promo Plan for SMBs and a Free Promo Plan for NPOs.)

For those who are unfamiliar or who haven't dedicated a lot of time and energy to digital marketing, there are several areas covered here that range from pre-created social content to weekly meetings that will help SMBs triage the most important needs.

Besides marketing, the other urgent need is money. There are larger institutions offering savings or cost reduction of fees for SMBs (and there's a regularly updated list here, by Scott Monty).

Ally bank is offering 120 day payment suspensions on all loans, mortgages, bank accounts, and cardsย 

Verizon waives late fees for 60 days for customers experiencing hardships because of COVID-19

Airbnb is issuing full refunds and waiving cancellations fees

GrubHub is temporarily suspending commissions from restaurants, up to $100 million

Uber Eats is waiving delivery fees for ordering from independently owned restaurants

Doordash has a similar programs in place

Apple Card is allowing customers to skip a monthly payment

Delta is enabling any ticket expiring in March or April to be extended to December 31, 2020.

Toast (restaurant POS and management system) is giving customers one month of credit on software fees and is giving complimentary access to products such as online ordering, takeout and gift cards.

Toast is also encouraging the public to go to rallyforrestaurants.com and find a restaurant, buy a gift card, share on social and challenge a friend.ย 

Postmates has created a pilot program for small businesses in the Bay Area to establish an account, and start delivering without any additional cost

If you're tech-savvy or digital marketing knowledgable the most generous thing you can do right now is to offer or volunteer hours to help someone who is left trying to navigate unfamiliar waters. Whether it's through text, chat or a virtual call, the opportunity to give the gift of knowledge may be the difference between some SMBs ultimate success or failure in an urgent time.

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