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"Online sales are more important than they ever realized before.” Maine's small businesses are pivoting during coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic

During the coronavirus pandemic, small businesses have adapted or pivoted their business model to accommodate online orders and virtual communication

BANGOR, Maine — If you take a stroll downtown in any city or town in Maine you'll notice the lack of hustle and bustle. Most stores and shops have closed their doors for in-person sales for weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Alison Lane is a Business Advisor at the Maine Small Business Development Center in Bangor. She said in this current state of the world online sales are saving businesses.

“Clients that do a lot of work with online sales and have a big online market, they’ve been kind of the lucky ones," Lane said.

Most small businesses in the state have online sales or service options and those virtual sales equally match the sales done in-person at the store or shop.

Lane added that once stores can reopen and business can go back to normal, businesses will remain focused on digital sales.

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“I think they’ll definitely, they won’t go back to 50/50, they’ll probably still heavily rely on online sales partially because they spent this time growing that market.”

David Green owns his own small business, WardGreen, a business consulting and leadership company. He says most of his business is done by communicating with others and interacting with clients.

Inspiring Others to Do Great Work and Lead Their Best Lives The WardGreen Group focuses on executive coaching, business consulting and facilitation, and developing leaders and teams. We are dedicated to inspiring others to do their best work and live their best life.

“I love talking to people and getting to know people, and chatting to people, and I really miss that," Green said.

Even though Green is missing his clients, he, and many of us working from home, have relied on the video calling app, Zoom.

Throughout the past few weeks, Green has used Zoom to set up client workshops, meet with people, and set up meetings. Green thinks this app will be used in the future.

“Zoom you know will continue rather than you know, face to face work, it’s very convenient," he added.

Lane added that her clients are feeling all kinds of emotions as the pandemic continues to keep businesses from operating as normal.

Free, confidential small business advising for Maine entrepreneurs on a wide range of topics including business planning, credit and financing, marketing and sales, operations and management and much more. Contact us at 207-780-4420 or mainesbdc@usm.maine.edu

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At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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