The economic impact of the pandemic is felt throughout the economic world, as entrepreneurs, business leaders and governments work to protect jobs and accelerate the return to long-term prosperity, and according to Google it is clear that digital tools and skills will be more important

That’s why Google is investing in new tools and training to ensure that all companies can create resilience and recover quickly.

A new report published today by the Connected Commerce Council, funded by Google, shows how a digital security network can serve as a support system for small businesses.

The survey of over 5,000 SMEs across Europe found that companies that have used digital tools to quickly change the way they find customers, sell products and operate have recorded sales that are better than 80% during the pandemic than those that did not and have taken on And without these tools, many would have failed.

Digital favours employment and sales for small businesses

Although almost all (up to 80%) small European businesses have increased their use of digital tools during the pandemic, the report identified three different types of small enterprises based on their adoption of digital tools and how this affects their activity.

Small digitally advanced enterprises (42% of small businesses in Europe) use more than 10 digital tools and give priority to their importance, leading to better business results such as higher revenues and jobs.

Small digitally evolving companies (40%) considered support tools or essential for their business, but were implementing an average of six.

Small digitally uncertain enterprises (18%) use fewer digital tools and do not give priority to their importance, leading to worse business results.

There is a clear unused potential for European companies to benefit from digital tools.

From consulting with small businesses, Google researchers have identified a range of digital tools \\’ecommerce, data analysis and talent management, cloud services and collaboration tools \’ which created significant revenue benefits for small businesses if This has also shown that not only digital generates revenue and jobs for these businesses, but also that Europe is losing significant growth that is not exploited by companies that are not yet convinced of the usefulness of digital tools.

The impact on small enterprises of the pandemic was and continues to be extreme, with 90% claiming to have been negatively affected and 44% having to adapt their business models. And some sectors and groups have faced greater challenges than others, especially women’s, older and individual workers.

It is clear from this research that there is an opportunity to promote jobs and revenue for small European businesses. However, research shows that governments and businesses need to reduce the gap between advanced and uncertain digital, particularly for under-represented groups.

Since new digital habits such as online shopping and distance work are destined to remain even after the pandemic, research also highlights the risk that some small businesses will stay further behind compared to competitors if they do not increase the use of digital tools. The obstacles these companies face include the uncertainty of return on investment and also the lack of skills and knowledge on digital tools.

This is why new skills are such an important part of the efforts to recover economic recovery across Europe. It’s also why Google is committed to investing in research like this to inform and exploit the tools and training we already offer.

Google joins policy makers, public agencies, training partners and others to develop products and partnerships to help address these barriers, to bring in contact artisans and traders with digital experts for remote support courses and provide customized advice on products for owners of

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