A number of Israeli companies have provided services helping American small businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic, allowing many businesses that would have otherwise gone under to stay open.
Tailor Brands, one such company, provides small businesses with branding services through an online digital interface automatically and for free in the first stage. The company also helped businesses with physical storefronts who needed to move online or create an online presence due to the pandemic and government restrictions.
"We have thousands of customers who used the platform to make a living during the coronavirus [outbreak]," Tailor Brands founder and CEO Yahli Sa'ar said in a press release. "For example, a single mother from South Carolina who was fired from her job during the coronavirus period used the platform to turn a hobby she started with her daughter into a pet boarding house that is now the main source of income for their household."
Sa'ar added that: "Most small businesses die at the concept stage because they are just not acted on. The coronavirus period has transformed the ability to quickly move from the concept stage to the application stage, from something nice to something necessary. Our platform allows people to create logos for free, build their business's branding and build their own online social presence and website. The system offers branded products like business cards, pens, shirts, bags. Everything is done through an easy, automatic process that takes a few minutes."
Tailor Brands has almost 30 million registered businesses in their system and has seen an increase in small businesses that have been established due to the rise in unemployment in the past year.
"These are people who have decided to leverage their business-building skills. We have seen an increase in small jewelry and fashion artists, manufacturers of art details. People were looking for a way to produce things themselves in their homes and turn their skills into a business, producing a new source of income," said Sa'ar.
In 2020, the number of applications for opening small businesses filed in the US jumped to 4.41 million compared to 3.47 million in 2019.
Another Israeli company helping small businesses operate in the pandemic is Melio, a platform for transferring digital payments between small businesses. The company helps small businesses manage incoming and outgoing payments remotely.
"What is unique about the technology we offer to small businesses is its suitability for people without a technological or financial background," Melio co-founder Ziv Paz. "We saw family businesses in the US that started using our solution and had never incorporated technological tools into the business before. This was a new behavior for them too but the disruptions from the coronavirus brought them to the edge and pushed them into digitization."
US businesses still largely transfer payments manually, with paper invoices and checks, which takes more time.
"Melio's founders decided to set up a US accounting firm as a means of understanding the world of business-to-business payments, to feel the pains of the field and to understand the nuances within the workflow," said Paz. "This helped to produce an accurate solution. Most money transfers through our systems are free, and the proceeds are for example helping some customers advance or defer payments."