A business expert highlights new challenges that restaurants and speciality stores are facing as Americans get back to shopping.
- Small businesses may institute new COVID-19 surcharges as they reopen during the pandemic.
- One restaurant in Missouri made national headlines after a customer posted a picture of their receipt online.
- A small business expert explains why you might be seeing these charges on your bill.
Small businesses are facing new challenges during the novel coronavirus pandemic, including large-scale stay-at-home orders, effectively upheaving their entire business model. But the most troubling challenge may actually lie ahead, as states are working to reopen non-essential businesses despite encouraging people to stay socially distant, changing the way that people shop and spend money in their communities. A few businesses have already thought of a new way to address these overnight changes to their livelihoods — a COVID-19 surcharge, which is usually added as a percentage to any bill or order. While some customers may not this it's fair, this extra fee is most likely saving the business from new expenses related to the pandemic, or from shuttering their doors altogether.
"It's good that business owners are hyper aware right now — likely, it could be that there are supply chain issues, or having to increase their investments in other areas, like a much more rigorous sanitation process," says Pamela Slim, a business coach and founder of local business advocacy group K’é Main Street Learning Lab in Arizona, where she's assisting local entrepreneurs adjust to the new normal as the state reopened in early May. "Proprietors may come from the perspective of wanting to stay in business, but in some cases if they don't have enough margin to be profitable — thus not passing rising costs to customers — then they're not going to be able to stay in business."
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