Womply, FundRocket Launch SMB Stimulus Program
While Congress continues to deliberate on a stimulus package that will provide as much as $400 billion in aid and loans for small businesses, tech companies that serve SMBs are stepping in to offer their own assistance packages. Among them is reputation management, CRM, and email software firm Womply, which has launched an SMB stimulus program in collaboration with its capital partner, FundRocket.
Under the program, any verified US small business can apply for $1,000 in interest-free capital. No business will pay back more than $1,000, and payments will max out at $100 per week. Businesses shuttered due to social distancing orders will pay back nothing while their doors are closed.
Womply also crafted a free version of its software, which is used by 450,000 local businesses. The product will help businesses struggling to stay afloat monitor their performance across a number of key metrics and also compare themselves to nearby peers.
The Covid-19 outbreak is already proving devastating for small businesses and their workers, who make up 47% of the private workforce. Experts estimate that 40% of small businesses are already laying off employees. The coronavirus-fueled drop in economic activity, which may send GDP plummeting as much as 30% next quarter, a recession not seen since World War II, has already cost 3 to 4 million jobs and may lead to the elimination of another nine to 11 million, according to Moody’s Analytics.
Still, there is ample reason to be skeptical of the notion that we face a binary choice between economic and public health. Shutting down stores hurts now, but a lack of social distancing will exacerbate the long-term effects of the Covid-19 outbreak, potentially extending economic pain well into 2021. By contrast, optimistic estimates indicate the extreme pain in the first half of this year could give way to 4 or 5% growth by Q3.
In the meantime, while businesses are shut down, it’s up to Congress to help small businesses weather the storm. While politicos take their time, it’s good news that Womply and larger players like Yelp and Facebook are doing their part to mitigate SMB pain.