Small businesses that pivoted to online weathered pandemic best, survey finds

It’s no secret that small businesses bore the brunt of COVID-19 restrictions, but many managed to weather the pandemic – and a new survey reveals the secret to their success.

Web services company GoDaddy surveyed small businesses in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.

The findings show two-thirds increased their online presence during the pandemic, and 40 per cent credit that move with recent revenue growth.

“It did open the door to a new way of doing business that I think they can continue to use as we come out of the pandemic, maintaining these new ways of doing business,” said GoDaddy Canada vice-president Anna De Aragon.

That has certainly been the case for La Grotta Del Formaggio, a 43-year-old Commercial Drive deli that did not have much of a web presence prior to the pandemic but pivoted to digital to stay afloat.

“It was something we wanted to do for a long time so in a way this kind of gave us that push to get online,” said owner Sandra Raines, whose father founded the businesses with her grandfather in the late ‘70s.

“We quickly set up an online store, created a website. Then we found platforms like Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes."

Even with pandemic restrictions no longer a concern, the move continues to pay off.

The deli is currently closed for a major renovation, but the business keeps humming along as staff work out of the warehouse fulfilling web orders for customers.

"I see it continuing and I think we're growing and bringing in new things to the deli and I'm excited about the future,” said Raines.