Moving Forward: Innovation key to small business survival | Regional news

“A strategy for investment, for economic recovery and for growth must draw upon the authentic…

“A strategy for investment, for economic recovery and for growth must draw upon the authentic Wisconsin ideal — that everyone deserves an opportunity to prosper,” Hughes said in a press release.

Tracy Propst, executive director of the Beaver Dam Area Chamber of Commerce, said the pandemic took its toll on local retailers and some didn’t survive.

Tracy Propst



“We did lose a few businesses so there has been some fallout from COVID, for sure,” she said. “But there are some that have evolved and are doing quite well. It’s tough for small businesses to change and it’s important to share what works.”

Retail businesses represent more than 9,000 storefront businesses and 114,000 employees across the state, according to the WEDC. These businesses have been impacted by closures, as more than 60{a25bda0f8ab6dac90e68079d6f038584ef6ac53f1f4621de3ad526e35cd6c0d6} of retailers do not have an online sales platform. As a result, these businesses have been unable to serve their loyal customers and may also have seen their sales shift to competitors with an online presence.

“Becoming internet savvy, establishing websites and learning how to show off products on social media was really to a business’s advantage this past year. Restaurants around here have done a phenomenal job adding online ordering and carry-outs,” she said.

While she encouraged shop owners to sell items online throughout the pandemic or provide curbside pickup, Propst said she realizes the extra work it entails.