Axios has a story about a deep divide between big business and small business that has been created - or exacerbated - by the pandemic.
According to the story, "The coronavirus pandemic has changed the game for U.S. businesses, pushing forward years-long shifts in workplaces, technology and buying habits - and forcing small businesses to fight just to survive … These changes are providing an almost insurmountable advantage to big companies, which are positioned to come out of the recession stronger and with greater market share than ever."
The story goes on: "Big companies, which have benefited far more from Congress and the Federal Reserve's coronavirus relief efforts, are expected to buy out or simply wait out smaller competitors … The Fed has provided nearly $3 trillion in liquidity since March to reopen credit and financial markets, and corporate titans like Apple, Exxon Mobil and United Airlines have taken advantage, borrowing a record amount of money at rock bottom rates.
"The lone lifeline for small businesses has been the Payroll Protection Program, which economists have found to be inefficient, ineffective and insufficient, largely excluding the businesses most in need of assistance."
Axios points out that "U.S. companies are making major investments in supply chain relocations out of Asia and closer to home, as well as artificial intelligence and robotics and re-skilling workforces to operate remotely and autonomously." But for the most part, these are big US companies - small businesses simply do not have the capital or even the bandwidth to make those kinds of investments.
- KC's View:
It is even more troubling that the pandemic shows little sign of subsiding, which could well mean that all the acceleration we've been seeing will continue, putting smaller businesses at an even greater disadvantage.
The argument here, almost from the beginning, has been that every company ought to have small group of people focusing on how it will/should look and act differently when emerging from the pandemic than it did before the coronavirus changed all out lives. That goes double for small companies, which have to figure out the degree to which they can adapt to accelerating market forces, but also, perhaps, how to compete with them.