Coronavirus is taking a heavy toll on small businesses worldwide. As state officials issue emergency “non-essential business” closures to contain the pandemic, many small business owners have needed to adapt to online-only offerings or else shutter completely.
Online platforms are now becoming consumers’ primary point of purchase – and thankfully, digital marketplaces are doing their part to help small businesses adapt to a rapidly developing crisis. Amazon recently announced that the company will prioritize “household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products” – like food and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines – to help customers obtain necessities without visiting physical stores.
This shift benefits both customers that need these essentials for home and small businesses that offer critical supplies. Customers can reduce their transmission risk by ordering online; small businesses, which make up more than half of Amazon’s sales, will fulfill these orders and receive a much-needed additional stream of revenue.
To accommodate astronomical demand for these products, Amazon is hiring more than 100,000 fulfillment center and delivery positions with increased pay. Amazon reached out specifically to furloughed employees, stating: “We welcome them on our teams until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back.”
By prioritizing high-demand items, Amazon is helping small and independent businesses when they need it most – by helping them reach the customers who need their products most.