How small businesses throughout the world are handling the pandemic


  • Business Insider spoke to five small luxury retail businesses — located in Italy, Bangladesh, China, Switzerland, and the US — to see how they are coping amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The cofounders of Boy Smells, a candle company located in California, have resorted to hand pouring over 300 candles a day from their home in Los Angeles.
  • Meanwhile, Gabo Guzzo, an Italian handbag company sold in retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman and Harrods, has pivoted its distribution strategy to solely e-commerce.
  • Retail has been one of the hardest-hit sectors throughout the outbreak. It’s unknown how long it will take the industry to rebound to pre-COVID levels, and many of the companies Business Insider spoke to said they’re taking it one day at a time.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Small businesses throughout the world are being severely impacted by the economic fallout brought forth by the coronavirus pandemic. Consumers have become more conscious about their spending, as the US, in particular, is expected to enter into a financial crisis that rivals the Great Depression.

Retail has been one of the hardest-hit sectors amid the pandemic, and stores across the world have been forced to shut down. Large retailers have canceled orders from supply manufacturers; factories had to close, and workers were sent home; nations shut their borders, preventing the import and export of materials. Luxury is expected to see a billion-dollar hit in sales, and experts think it will be at least a year before either sector begins seeing a return to normalcy again.

Business Insider spoke to five small luxury businesses, located in Italy, Bangladesh, China, Switzerland, and the United States, to find out how they’re handling a decline in sales, unsteady markets, the mental health of their employees, and what their hopes are for a post-coronavirus world.



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