The coronavirus pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on small and medium-sized businesses. Consumer spending has dropped in many categories and the mass shift to online retail has made it more important than ever that communities support local commerce. For many SMBs, throughout the region and around the world, digital transformation is now the key to survival as well as growth.
But SMBs are nothing if not agile. Expanding from bricks to clicks can create new revenue channels, more efficient operating models and entirely new cultures. As SMBs become more digitally oriented, they may gain access to new tools and resources in areas like payment technology, customer experience and communications. And when doors do reopen, increased digital agility can make established frontline processes easier, faster and more secure.
In this series of discussion panels in partnership with Financial Times, we are addressing the challenges and opportunities of becoming more online-oriented in these uncertain times. The discussions are focused on the digital tools and resources that can fundamentally change how an SMB connects with its customers, examples of how SMB communities are evolving, and the role that government, industry and society can play in empowering SMBs to succeed.