Synchrony announced it will provide financial support toward helping small businesses impacted by the pandemic response.
Through its foundation, Synchrony Foundation, the company pledges to provide financial support and intellectual capital for small businesses.
The support comes by way of grants, access to customizable digital tools and consulting services. To that end, the foundation has committed $5 million in support to national community organizations that help small businesses. This includes $2 million to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a national community development organization. The LISC will provide emergency grants to minority-owned businesses in underserved communities
Synchrony Financial Help for Small Business
Synchrony’s announcement follows earlier pledges for merchant relief and educational programs. In March the company also committed $3.5 million to local organizations tackling long-term needs in hard-hit communities over the lockdown.
Synchrony’s philanthropic initiative called Families that Work, provides grant support to non-profits. These are organizations that are making a difference in the lives of low- and moderate-income working families. They look to tackle challenges such as economic security, family homelessness, and out-of-school care.
“For nearly 90 years, helping America’s small businesses has been a core part of our DNA and today, we are accelerating our efforts to ensure that ‘small’ stays ‘strong,’” said Neeraj Mehta, Chief Executive Officer of Synchrony Payment Solutions.
This includes its Synchrony Connect for Small Business which provides businesses with access to support and consultations geared towards helping them remain resilient. This involves strengthening their digital marketing resources for the purpose of improving their digital presence. With assistance in improving customer loyalty, market trends and insights as well as how to navigate the evolving business landscape.
How Will it Help Businesses?
Synchrony partners with nearly one million small businesses delivering financial programs and consumer banking products across industries. Some of the segments include retail, health travel and automobile, with over 75.5 million active accounts to date.
Through the LISC, Synchrony will provide emergency grants of up to $10,000 to help small businesses. The grants will help cover training, resources and technical assistance including web-based and remote sales, accounting and marketing for business. Equally important, this will help businesses return to normal operations following the end of the lockdown. To that end, Synchrony will be teaming up with organizations, including the US Chamber of Commerce to provide webinars on financing, funding, and strategies.
Through Synchrony Connect for Small Business the company is providing a digital resource center to give businesses the support and advice they need to recover and thrive. These include access to educational resources, best practices sharing on crisis management; creating and optimizing websites and other issues related to marketing. Consequently, this advice will help businesses to better equip themselves as lockdowns across the nation are lifted.
Roadmap to Business Recovery
The US economy seems set to go on the road to recovery with unemployment in May declining by 13.3%. Meaning businesses are rehiring and bringing back furloughed staff numbering 2.1 million in May alone. Those industries that have seen positive employment rates include leisure and hospitality, construction, education and health services.
As businesses start opening up, they need to figure out on how to get back in business. They need to understand the needs of their customers’ and start reorganizing their supply chains. Opportunities are available for businesses to get on the track to recovery by looking towards digital tools and assets to increase their growth. With online shopping being the buzz word towards the road to recovery businesses will no doubt need to dig deep and look for tech solutions.
At the operation end they will need to look at how technology will help them reach optimum levels of capacity and productivity. By mapping these assets, you will be able to determine how you can channel these resources for your recovery plan while also meeting your day-to-day operational needs. You should ask whether you can dedicate to work virtually or will your staff return to the office. You also have to determine what processes and practices require your employees to be physically present.
As far as engagement with customers, businesses will need to evaluate whether they will have to change their revenue models by shifting towards online sales. They will need to focus more on elevating their relations with customers and build brand loyalty. Perhaps reinventing their product and services to be more relevant in a predominantly digital world might be key.
Resource tools such as those the one’s Synchrony is providing can help businesses take the first step towards using digital capabilities to grow their businesses.