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How to Accelerate Gains for Your Small Business in Uncertain Times As the U.S. moves into the next stages of its relationship to Covid, these tips can help you continue to build momentum.

By Whitney A. White

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With a new wave of shutdowns blanketing the country in an attempt to rein in the third wave of the pandemic, small businesses — which are vital to the health of the U.S. economy — are struggling to hold on. Many are closed for good: 60 percent, according to a Yelp survey in September — up 20 percent from April. The number is even higher today. Unable to support their employees, who have now run out of unemployment insurance, the effect is far-reaching and heartbreaking. Small businesses employ about 50% of the workforce and are more than just a job, a brick-and-mortar shop, a pin on Google maps — they are a vital part of the community, often becoming a surrogate family to employees, a meeting place for neighborhood folk, and the face of the neighborhood. As customers stay "safer at home," bills continue to mount; with the lack of federal support, many business owners watch their dreams turn into an unimaginable nightmare. Entrepreneurs and small business owners understand and expect the challenges of running and scaling a business, but the economic downturn caused by Covid-19 is well beyond what most of us can plan for.

Like many, I see businesses struggle in my own community. These are my neighbors — people I know and places I frequent — the coffee shop, the yoga studio, and the dry cleaners. The need for help is palpable. I knew I had to do something.

I have spent years helping start-ups, business owners, and corporations launch and scale new products, ventures, and ultimately, dreams. As the founder of Afara Global and the creator of the coaching program Take Back Your Time, my experience has shown that with the proper tools and support, businesses can surmount almost any challenge, and those challenges can even be turned into potential opportunities.