SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) National Small Business Week begins in the U.S. and businesses worldwide prepare for an unprecedented holiday season, Visa (NYSE: V) is introducing new programs and resources essential to small and micro business (SMB) recovery efforts. The Visa Back to Business Study, Holiday Edition, launched today, finds that consumers will carry their resolve for normalcy into the holiday shopping season, with 88% planning to buy and give gifts despite challenges the pandemic has created. To prepare for this unprecedented holiday season, SMBs should be looking for ways to offset the impact of COVID-19 during the holidays, with 60% already saying they are taking steps to prepare.
“Educational resources and community support are fundamental building blocks that will help small businesses get back to not only surviving, but thriving,” said Kevin Phalen, global head of business solutions, Visa. “Visa has long been committed to supporting as many small businesses as possible. In the wake of the pandemic and preparing for the holidays, we are accelerating our efforts, amplifying our partnerships and expanding our programs to help get the world back to business.”
Despite the unpredictable nature of COVID-19, 68% of global SMBs report that the winter holiday season remains a major sales opportunity for their business. Informed by these insights, Visa is stepping up its commitments to help digitally-enable 50 million small businesses as we head into the holiday season.
SHE’S NEXT, EMPOWERED BY VISA GOES VIRTUAL
Visa is kicking off National Small Business Week with a partnership with the Female Founder Collective (FFC) to host a three-day virtual summit, What’s Next Fest (September 22-24). The summit will provide educational insights and expert guidance as attendees forge ahead in one of the most challenging years in history.
Visa and the FFC are focusing a full day on Black women-owned small businesses, sharing insights and ideas to take their business to the next level. As part of its commitment to this community, Visa and IFundWomen have extended their grant program to India and doubled their Black women-owned SMB grant program, awarding 25 grants and annual coaching memberships. Select winners will be celebrated at What’s Next Fest.
What’s Next Fest speakers include Rebecca Minkoff (Founder, FFC), Tia Mowry-Hardrict (Actress & Co-Founder, Anser Supplements), Olympic athlete Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Team Visa, Jamaica, Athletics) and Paralympic athlete Oksana Masters (Team Visa, USA, Para cycling), among a number of other celebrated small business owners. Visa and the FFC will donate 40% of proceeds from ticket sales to support Kiva, an international nonprofit that expands financial access to help underserved communities. To register for the event, visit here.
“Despite being an essential business, the pandemic has taken a toll, even since we re-opened. As an entrepreneur it’s stressful to see more money leaving than coming in,” said Patrice Banks, founder of Girls Auto Clinic. “The Visa and IFundWomen grant is such a great win that helps keep us going in the middle of difficult times. It feels good to know that people believe in you.”
HELPING SMALL BUSINESSES GO DIGITAL
More than a quarter (26%) of SMBs are digitizing parts of their business in preparation for the holiday season. To enable these efforts, Visa Street Teams are going virtual to reach as many small businesses as possible. Already, Visa teams have visited more than 185,000 small businesses in 66 U.S. cities and 15 markets to provide “back to business” kits with new ‘tap to pay preferred’ point-of-sale materials, branding, educational resources and special offers.
The online program, The Virtual Breakroom: Back to Business Learning Series, will offer three content modules, hosted on Visa.com and available on-demand via the Visa Small Business Hub. Programs begin launching on September 29 and cover topics including contactless payments, growing your business online and digital marketing/reputation management.
Being a small business owner is very difficult, but COVID-19 has added unpredictability I could never have anticipated,” said Manuel Delgado, owner, Delgado Guitars. “We had to be smart about attracting more business and being able to quickly and easily move our business online has been essential to staying open. Everyone in the world can play a role in recovery, and we appreciate how Visa has helped to encourage and incentivize consumers to shop local.”
As the trusted engine of commerce, Visa is dedicated to helping the world adapt, rebuild and get back to business. For more information on the programs and solutions Visa has made available to SMBs visit the Visa Small Business Hub, the Visa Small Business COVID-19 relief site and the Holiday Edition of the Visa Back to Business Study.
Methodology: Visa Back to Business Study
The Visa Back to Business study was conducted by Wakefield Research between June 18 and June 29, 2020, among 250 small business owners at companies with 100 employees or fewer in the U.S., Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Singapore and UAE. Separately, the consumer portion of the survey was conducted by Wakefield Research between June 12 and June 29, 2020, among 1,000 Adults ages 18+ in the US, and 500 Adults ages 18+ in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Singapore and UAE. The data was weighted to ensure an accurate representation of adults ages 18+ in each market.
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of digital commerce on any device, for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa, visa.com/blog and @VisaNews.