In the past year, several coronavirus strains have been one of the greatest threats to humanity. Unfortunately, their effects seem to be unending as a new strain of the COVID-19 is out. The newest strain, popularly known as the Omicron variant, is scientifically referred to as B. 1.1.529. This new variant was first reported by scientists in South Africa following its recent recovery.
The first strain of COVID-19, the SARS Cov-2, had devastating effects on individuals and world economy, affecting businesses in all existing industries. Some businesses are yet to recover from this, while others have moved on sooner than expected. Its effect included from mass lay-offs, complete shutdown of businesses, financial frailty and poor digitisation.
The new strain of the COVID-19 poses a similar threat, and no matter how much business blogs emphasise how to avoid its effects, the strategies they suggest may be abortive. Below are some of the possible ways the new COVID-19 strain can affect businesses.
Although the rate at which the Omicron variant can be transmitted from one person to the other still remains unknown, it is no news that government will try to reduce physical contact to the barest minimum. As a result, they will enforce social distancing restrictions. This is to say that most physical businesses will lose numerous customers. Hence, the need to lay off some of their workers, leading to a decrease in human resources. In addition, retained employees may have to take salary cuts for companies to stay afloat.
Risk of closure
With the new strain in sight, most businesses will be at risk of complete shutdown. Depending on the transmissibility of this new strain, there could be another lockdown resulting in the closure of businesses. This can lead to financial fragility following a decrease in revenue flow.
Demand and supply shortages
Following the recent discovery of the new strain, there could be possible disruption in the demand and supply chain. With the closure of businesses and industries, there will be reduced demands for some goods that are not necessarily essential.
Invariably, there will be no supply of goods since there is no demand. This disruption leads to shortages which can affect businesses in the long run.
The difference between successful and non-successful business post-COVID after the first strain was the ability of the successful ones to digitise. There has been a significant reduction in the rate at which business transactions is being performed physically. Some businesses have taken advantage of that, whereas some are lagging. Most small businesses will be largely affected by this new strain of COVID-19 if they are unable to digitise and interact with their customers virtually.
The Omicron variant has been labelled as a variant of concern by the WHO. This means that it poses a great threat to the world, and businesses are not exempted. As such, being aware of how it could affect businesses can help prepare us for the unexpected.