The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the COVID-19, a pandemic. It is an uncertain time with lots of unknown happenings that no one could have ever expected. COVID-19 has affected the entire economy globally. The business sector is influenced badly with small scale businesses experiencing sudden shifts. Whether it is the food sector, pharmaceutics, shipping, or product packaging; every business has faced a sudden downfall. This sheer surge in unemployment in the small-scale sector continued to shake the USA workforce. Overall claims reached 30 million in the six weeks since the start of the pandemic on March 14th. Although the initial steps have been made to ease the lockdown, still up to a third of all USA jobs remain vulnerable. Challenge for governments is to figure out how to get these employees could get back to work. The challenge is especially severe for small businesses which account more for this disproportionate share of the vulnerable jobs.
The Crisis Affected Small Businesses across all Regions:
It is not only the case with America; rather this pandemic has strongly affected a vast majority of businesses worldwide (near about 60%). The small scale businesses felt the effect the most; especially the African side where every three out of four interviewed companies were facing severe consequences. The virus has also disrupted a series of existing local and international value chains. According to a survey, a big percentage of small-scale businesses reported a drastic decline in sales. Managing everything had become totally difficult. In simpler words, companies face difficulty both on the demand and supply side.
Effect of COVID-19 on Packaging Businesses:
The small business product packaging industry had low exposure to COVID-19 as compared to other companies being left more vulnerable. According to a new report, this sector is less susceptible to coronavirus disruptions. Food, beverage, and pharmaceutical product packaging supplies remained resilient under the current environment. While other custom packaging companies producing product boxes for cosmetics, hospitality, apparel, and travel sector faced a decline in demand. These companies are now seeking wage subsidies and government support to overcome the loss. However, no one can yet predict whether this issue will be addressed or not. Some of the other changes across the packaging sector are:
- Plastic is back in the business due to this pandemic: Although plastic does not meet sustainability goals like cardboard made product packaging boxes, it is safer, affordable, long-lasting, and helps to stop the spread of disease. During the shutdown period, the main concern was to prevent the items from spoilage and increase their useful life. Plastic proved much helpful in this regard, giving rise to new product packaging ideas that are hard to ignore. The custom printed boxes made up of plastic are easy to seal, thereby retaining the quality for a long.
- Coronavirus saved several packaging businesses that were about to shut down: This is because, after the outbreak of the disease, the people have realized the importance of types of product packaging that how well it maintains the hygiene. Customers have become more health-conscious. They prefer to purchase the products enclosed in custom packaging boxes with logo, even if they are costly. Professional packaging ensures that the product is produced by health-conscious manufacturers.
- The drawback in the packaging industry: Even though the packaging businesses are having high demand, still there are some drawbacks to the pandemic. The major hindrance is the shutdown. As the employees have to stay at home during a lockdown situation. Therefore, many of the small companies are closed, or their production is very less as compared to before.
Other Businesses Affected Adversely:
As described earlier, COVID-19 has affected different sectors differently. It is not only the small scale businesses with known challenges like restaurants and hotels that are immensely affected. Rather than other small businesses like educational centers, healthcare, and social assistance were also some of the biggest targets. Many private sector educational institutes like children’s education centers, sports clubs, art schools, and counseling centers also faced troublesome consequences. Social distancing was a big challenge here, could become more vulnerable. Similarly, small scale businesses in the healthcare sector like ambulatory care, dentist offices, and other small private practice clinics that patients may be reluctant to visit, were also highly affected. The small scale manufacturers who make custom boxes for shipping businesses were also at stake. This is because most of the transportation services were closed during the lockdown. The demand decreased significantly and so the transportation of goods. Although the situation is becoming better, still some time will be required to overcome these drastic changes.