Keeping up with the latest digital marketing headlines is easy when you tune in to the EDGE. Our latest news segment featured host Erin Sparks and Creative Studio Producer Jacob Mann along with special guest Katy Mann, Founder of Indy with Kids. Here’s the bonus news roundup from Episode 355 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web podcast: 


Facebook Publishes New Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on Small Businesses

From Andrew Hutchinson on Social Media Today we learn that Facebook Publishes New Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on Small Businesses. This week, Facebook has published a new report to shed some more light on this, incorporating responses from over 86,000 people who own, manage or work for a small to medium-sized business. The data also includes 9,000 operators of “personal” businesses (i.e., people who reported that they were “self-employed providing goods or services”).

  • Erin Sparks: Unsurprisingly, the percentage of SMBs negatively impacted by pandemic shutdowns (31% overall, and 52% of personal businesses) varies by sector, such as 43% for hotels, cafes, and restaurants, and 41% for professional services like fitness, grooming, and so on. It’s like a forced hibernation for these businesses.
  • Katy Mann: I wonder where the actual data came from. Was it businesses who had applied for some form of relief? But the data certainly aligns with what I’ve in terms of services my family uses. And of course it leaves us all hoping these businesses will be able to come out of this in some way.
  • Erin Sparks: The data was generated from internal Facebook surveys, so I don’t think it was tied directly to those who were seeking relief. The big thing now is the uncertainty around the timing of when things can open back up. Which ones will be able to survive long enough to open back up and which ones will just close permanently. Obviously, the share of retail that is ecommerce (16% in 2019) is going to go up.
  • Katy Mann: Yes. What else can you do if you’re trying to stay at home and not go out? It feels wrong to not buy local in this case, but thank goodness there are many local businesses trying to do curbside pickup, which is great. And I hope those stick around even afterwards because it’s a silver lining when you don’t have to drag the kids into a place.


Restaurants, salons institute coronavirus surcharges, causing social media backlash

According to Brie Stimson on Fox News, Restaurants, salons institute coronavirus surcharges, causing social media backlash. And it’s not just restaurants. A dentist’s office in Jacksonville, Florida, reportedly started charging a $10 per appointment fee for personal protective equipment, and in Texas some hair salons have started adding a $3 sanitation charge, according to KTRK-TV in Houston. 

  • Erin Sparks: As limited reopening begins, some businesses are adding surcharges. Is that a good idea given how hard it’s been for everyone already? 
  • Katy Mann: This is a tough one. There was a local pottery place asking people to support their business by purchasing and picking up take-home kits, and there was an extra charge of some type. I thought this was odd since we’re not going into their facility, so it’s not like they have to clean up after us. But then I do think people have the freedom to run their business however they see fit, but I do think it would be better if they were up-front about any such charges. It would be very frustrating to get a restaurant meal and only find out at the end you’re paying an extra fee. Businesses can raise prices in hard situations, but they need to let the consumer know ahead of time in an open and transparent manner to let them make the decision if they’re okay with it.
  • Erin Sparks: I’m not feeling so great about this scenario. Everyone wants to get back out there, and everyone wants things to open back up, everyone wants to get the economy going again, but then we’re going to basically be taxed on the stuff we need and want? Doesn’t seem quite right to me.


Zoom users suffer problems as they report video-conferencing app going down across the UK

On Daily Mail, Bhvishya Patel reports Zoom users suffer problems as they report video-conferencing app going down across the UK. Users of the video conferencing service Zoom were left experiencing audio and visual problems earlier today after the platform went down.

  • Erin Sparks: People got pretty worked up over this. Zoom resolved it as quickly as they could. Patience, people! These platforms weren’t built for the kind of incredible spike in users that they’ve had to handle. 
  • Katy Mann: Yes, we’ve experienced problems with it as well, oddly enough during church time on Sundays, which wouldn’t normally be big Zoom days, but a lot of churches are using it for services. We all just have to learn to adjust.
  • Erin Sparks: A little forgiveness goes a long way. Should have bought Zoom stock, too.

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