downtown mckinney

Local businesses are reeling from the trickle-down effects of the novel coronavirus, and the McKinney Chamber of Commerce wants to help.

To help pinpoint areas where businesses could use a boost or help one another, the chamber sent out a survey to members last week.

The survey found that 81 percent of business leaders expect their revenue to drop, 74 percent are making changes to their day-to-day operations, 55 percent said they will be reducing spending, and 47 percent are cutting back on staffing for now.

Communications Manager Keith King said depending on the type of businesses, tactic for combating those effects range from changing the way they operate to having employees work remotely when possible. For example, a realtor said they are doing virtual tours now to continue serving clientele.

One major trend is the reliance on technology like the internet and virtual meeting programs, the survey found.

KidStrong, which teaches children how to be socially, emotionally and physically strong through a science-based curriculum and a variety of physical exercises was founded by Megin Sharp with her husband Matt. Sharp said the company, which had relied on in-person training sessions, shifted to its online program KidStrong University.

“We were supposed to launch it in two months,” Megin said. “But we put three months of work into 24 hours.”

KidStrong University provides many of the same types of instruction for families but through a video element. There are several benefits to that, Matt said, including being able to offset some of the financial loss of not having families visit the facility every day.

Through social media channels, the chamber has been encouraging customers to take advantage of services like curbside pickup and online ordering. Gift cards are also a good option so that businesses are supported financially, and customers can spend their gift cards when the stores can re-open.

“Morale-wise, we think it’s important to reach out to businesses and business owners (email, social media, etc.) and let them know the community supports them,” he said.

In order to keep up its networking and learning opportunities, the chamber itself began doing virtual meet-ups for anyone interested.

They’ve also put together a webpage that lists all the services the chamber’s member restaurants are still offering while dine-in options are restricted. Additionally, a resource page is available for businesses with government information, tips and guidelines.

King said chamber staff are also compiling a list of Small Business Administration lenders and application information that will be sent to members.

“Our goal is to connect the business community with the resources they need during this uncertain time,” he said.

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