Digital technology is helping small business during the coronavirus pandemic

76 percent of small businesses are relying more on digital tools than before

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Small businesses are optimistic about reopening and using digital tools and services to do so.

That's according to a report released Wednesday by the Connected Commerce Council.

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Businesses are using digital tools to connect with customers, find new customers and sell online.

Digital tools would include marketing and advertising tools like Instagram, YouTube, Google Ads and analytics; customer relationship management tools from Salesforce and Constant Contact; operations platforms from Quickbooks and Hubspot; and online marketplaces like Amazon, Shopify, and eBay.

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During the COVID crisis 76 percent of small businesses are relying more on digital tools than before, and 74 percent of small businesses expect to be back to business as usual within six months of restrictions being lifted.

Nearly one-third of businesses surveyed said that without digital technology, they would have had to close all or part of their business during the COVID crisis.

“This report shows that in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic and economic crisis, digitally empowered small businesses are weathering the storm and optimistic about the future,” said Jake Ward, President of 3C, a non-profit membership organization representing digitally empowered small businesses. “Access to affordable, scalable, and secure tools is critical -- now, more than ever. Small businesses drive the American economy, and they will drive the American recovery with the support of their communities and digital tools."

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The report was done in partnership with Google and conducted by LRWGreenberg.

The report also found that  small businesses without a pre-existing e-commerce presence were twice as likely to have temporarily stopped operating during the crisis.

Small businesses owned by women are substantially more likely to use digital tools than men, particularly social media.

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The results are based on a survey of 502 U.S. small business owners conducted by LRWGreenberg from May 6 to May 18, 2020.