Covid-19 Pandemic Updates and Resources for Small Business
March 23, 2020
ABOUT YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS LISTING
Google My Business (GMB)
They are temporarily scaling their back their offerings to prioritize support for health-related businesses. This is actually a benefit to many small businesses because across the haters have been leaving unfair one-star reviews for businesses that electively closed to help prevent the spread of the virus. While your current reviews on GMB will remain active for all to see, new reviews and owner responses are disabled until further notice. While they are trying to give pandemic priority to closures, special hours, updates to your services, some things are likely to take longer for approval. I have also heard of some rejections with GMB posts (if you don't know what these are, we need to talk, because they're good tools for organic reach). As far as claiming your business, it can be often a pain due to verification postcards not arriving or a previous business claimed your location, but as of now, unless you are a business supporting public health, you could have an even tougher time with the verification process.
For once, Yelp is taking a high ground. Shocking, right? For a limited time, Yelp has positioned themselves with a zero-tolerance towards reviews claiming they contracted the virus from small businesses or employees. They are also removing reviews from anyone who bitches about your business being closed during the pandemic. If one pops up, flag it so it won't damage your rating.
RESOURCES FOR FREELANCERS
Artists & Musicians
Covid -19 Emergency Funding for Artists - dozens of potential support options and resources for artists and musicians
Sweet Relief - a fund for musicians and others in the music industry
Small Business Administration Loans (SBA) - if you can't wait for the relief pack, this is an option for generally lower-interest loans to keep your business alive, even if the doors are temporarily closed.
Student Loans Forbearance - many student will be at 0% interest for 60 days, but not all, so use this link Department of Education Link to find out more.