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Jake Ward, President of the Connected Commerce Council (3C), during Google's virtual Small Business Matters Roundatable.

85% of SMBs say COVID-19 made them rethink their approach to digital tools.

Why it’s important: SMBs that are using digital tools, technology services and have access to online marketplaces are more likely to have survived the early days of COVID-19 and become resilient because of it, said Jake Ward, President of the Connected Commerce Council (3C).

  • SMBs that were early adopters of digital tools anticipated 4X better revenue for 2020 compared to those that were less prepared digitally.

3C and Google surveyed over 7,000 SMBs and found that nearly every small business in the U.S. was affected by COVID-19 in one capacity or another – and still is, in many cases.

  • But the study also reveals how SMBs have utilized digital tools in their business models in order to overcome these unprecedented challenges.

“Access to digital tools, services and marketplaces are the silver bullet for millions of American small businesses. They’re the thing that enables growth, resilience and sustainability in the long-term.”

- Jake Ward

Key numbers from the Digitally Driven report:

  • 72% of SMBs increased the use of digital tools during COVID-19.
  • 53% plan to continue to use more digital tools after the pandemic.

The challenge: SMBs have to believe that they can make the most out of these digital tools, said Ward.

  • “It’s the investment of time and energy ahead of the crisis that will make your business more sustainable,” he added.

The takeaway: The U.S. has seen a remarkable digital transformation over the last 6 months and Ward is confident it’s here to stay.

Go deeper

2. Only 45% of SMBs felt digitally prepared for COVID-19

Jake Ward, President of the Connected Commerce Council (3C) and Mistique Cano, Director of Policy & Public Affairs at Google.

The pandemic created a greater urgency to adopt digital tools, but small businesses are still faced with 2 key barriers – information and cost.

What this means: SMBs need to reinvent themselves to adapt, but they’re often left behind because they’re “historically under-capitalized,” said Jake Ward, President of the Connected Commerce Council (3C).

The new small business lifeline: digital tools

Businesses leaders confirmed one fact about our shared new normal at the first of three Google virtual Small Business Matters Roundtable events on Thursday, Sept. 14: COVID-19 has made it essential for small businesses to digitize their operations once and for all.

Why it’s important: 93% of U.S. small businesses to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) felt an immediate downturn in customer demand, hours of operation and employee headcounts, a newly published Connected Commerce Council (3C) report in partnership with Google found.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Oct 14, 2020 - Economy & Business

China's digital currency aims to leave the rest of the world in the dust

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

China is already test-driving the future of finance while the rest of the world is stuck trying to get its learner's permit.

What's happening: Over the past two weeks Chinese authorities in cities like Shenzhen and Chengdu have given out the country's brand new digital renminbi currency and are urging even faster rollout of the token nationwide.