Small business owners are experiencing unparalleled losses as the U.S. implements a variety of measures to combat the Coronavirus.
- 90% of small business owners report major challenges already and that figure is up from 60% just two weeks ago.
- And 37% of small business owners have less than one month of cash on hand before they might be forced to abandon the American Dream of business ownership -- and close for good.
All of these findings have emerged from surveys of 146,000 small business owners who took Alignable’s Small Business Pulse Polls, starting on March 12, 2020. And while these hurdles combine to show just how dire the problem is for millions of small business owners right now, many people and companies are also trying to help.
One group is a broad coalition of concerned tech companies including: Alignable, Fundbox, Gusto, Homebase, Womply, SmallBizDaily.com, Actual.Agency, Business.com and Small Business Edge. And we have banded together today to introduce a new initiative called, #paytoday.
The goal here is simple: urging all clients of small businesses -- especially major corporations and government agencies -- to pay their small business vendors right away, changing long-held accounting practices.
A 2019 PYMNT’s study shows that the average small business waits 28 days to get paid, but many vendors often wait much longer. In normal circumstances, that lack of cash flow can be challenging, but in today’s environment, it can mean the difference between keeping a business open and giving up.
$900 Billion Dollars Would Help...A Lot
At any given time, small businesses are owed a total of $900 billion. If the small businesses received what they were owed today or even this week, that would help to infuse enough cash into the small business economy to stave off millions of imminent small business closures.
“As a network fueled by more than 4.5 million small business owners, we wholeheartedly support the #paytoday effort,” said Eric Groves, Co-Founder and CEO of Alignable. “These small business owners have already done the work and deserve to be paid for it -- as soon as possible, especially by the big companies and government agencies that have plenty of cash on hand.”
The movement also encourages bold leadership from those enterprises and government agencies, asking for a commitment by them to pay their small business vendors as quickly as possible.
Alignable, for its part, has made this pledge to pay its small business vendors as soon as possible.
Do The Right Thing
“At Alignable, we see thousands of members supporting each other daily with creative suggestions to generate extra income in these hard times,” said Alignable Co-Founder and President Venkat Krishnamurthy. “They’re simply doing the right thing for their fellow human beings -- and the heads of major corporations and government agencies should follow suit. At this time in history, several corporations doing the right thing could go a long way.”
And, even with the positive news of a new $2 trillion dollar federal stimulus package, with $350 billion earmarked for small businesses, several industry experts are concerned that it will take weeks, if not a month or two until small business owners see any of that cash.
That’s a delay many cannot afford. But if corporations and government agencies step up and pay small businesses soon, life for many could get exponentially better -- and fast.
The Time Is Now
The #paytoday movement was started by several tech companies concerned that, if nothing was done, many small businesses would perish under the pressure of Coronavirus quarantines.
So, the coalition started this movement to generate awareness of the payment problems, urging large companies and government agencies to “pay today.”
It’s the coalition’s hope that, when this movement catches on, many small businesses will have a runway to outlast the virus and eventually get back to business as usual.
Raising the visibility of the problem and mobilizing enterprises and government agencies to get on board before it is too late is the ultimate goal.
Amplify Your Voice Via Social Media
Small business people, and the general public, also can play a major role to make this goal a reality. They can write to many of the larger companies and/or post to their social media outlets, asking them to pay their small business vendors today adding the hashtag: #paytoday, as a sign of solidarity with other members of the movement.
Each company in the coalition will do the same to elevate the movement and hopefully affect positive change in an atmosphere of so much uncertainty, disappointment and fear. We’re hoping that members of the media who would like to get involved post far and wide about the cause, as well.
To learn more about #paytoday and to use any of the content the coalition has created, please visit: www.paytoday.club.