A Tale of Two Hyperlocal Family-Run Stores: Targeted Sector Supports for SMEs in the COVID-19 Pandemic Era

A Tale of Two Hyperlocal Family-Run Stores: Targeted Sector Supports for SMEs in the COVID-19 Pandemic Era

Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 80
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8346-3.ch003
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A sub-class of small and medium(-sized) enterprises (SMEs) are family-run groceries and restaurants, both businesses hard hit by the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic, given the high-contact person-to-person nature of both. In one American Midwestern town, there are two stores that carry Asian foodstuffs. These are B2C and B2B businesses with a limited client base and tight profit margins. Theirs are pressured businesses given the racialized cultural atmosphere around COVID-19 in the US. Both businesses took different and limited strategies to survive in this COVID-19 era. This work uses qualitative research techniques—primary mixed methods research (in a light auto-ethnography) and publicly available data sources—to conduct an in-depth content analysis to examine the two family-run stores. Some ideas are advanced about ways to support such hyperlocal stores.
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Review Of The Literature

This novel coronavirus pathogen was first identified in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China, in December 2019. The first formal identified case in the U.S. was initially thought to be in February 2020, but more recent serologic testing of donated blood suggests that it may have already been stateside in December 2019 (Basavaraju, et al., Nov. 30, 2020). The morbidity and mortality effects of SARS-CoV-2 and its high infectivity (identified on all continents except Antarctica by February 2020), and its highly variant effects on the human body (with highly disparate effects on different sub-groups), have made this pandemic from the novel coronavirus one of the most serious threats that collective humanity has faced in 100 years. The pandemic is said to affect every aspect of people’s lives.

At the moment of this work, the world has had 67.5 million known cases of infection by SARS-CoV-2, with 43.2 million recovered, and 1.54 million deaths. This is based on the COVID-19 Dashboard, maintained by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University & Medicine’s Coronavirus Resource Center (“COVID-19 Dashboard,” Dec. 7, 2020). In the U.S., at this dangerous moment, there have been 15.3 million cases and 290,323 deaths and 8.9 million recovered, according to the Worldometer count (“United States,” Dec. 7, 2020, 23:23 GMT). These numbers are thought to be low, and an actual more accurate accounting will take place once SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 both have been contained (if that is possible). At the present moment, the epidemiological modelers have been exonerated, even as the terrible numbers manifest. Public health officials, with their consistent focus on the capabilities of the pathogenic virus and the actions of human populations, have stayed on message. By contrast, political leaders have been less consistent, and they have been much less committed to the health of the general public.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Supply Chain: The processes related to the manufacturing and distribution of a particular good or commodity.

Crowdsourcing: Going to the mass public through social media accounts to acquire information or other resources for particular projects or endeavors.

Corporate Social Responsibility: The sense of responsible commitment of a firm or entity to abide by legal and ethical standards to their peers, customers, larger community, and the world across a range of dimensions (social, environmental, economic, political, and others).

Business Continuance: The ability to continue the provision of services in the face of a disaster or crisis; a form of business resilience.

Small and Medium(-Sized) Enterprises: Business with fewer than 100 employees.

Crowdfunding: Going to the mass public through social media accounts to raise funds for particular projects, or endeavors.

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