While cities and industries around the world have been displaying a great deal of resilience in tough economic times, small businesses also have the opportunity to accomplish this. Almost every day businesses overcome a variety of obstacles and setbacks in order to operate successfully. In fact, in a globalized world, small businesses may have greater access to foreign markets and the latest technology but that also means these businesses are connected to potential disruptions in the global economy. These small businesses also have the problem of facing increased competition from larger businesses. However, just as countries or industries can bounce back from economic hardships and natural setbacks, small businesses can do the same.

A great example of how small businesses can overcome economic difficulties and complications lies within a driven Chinese entrepreneur. Zhang Lan started her own business with a single restaurant located in the city of Beijing using her own savings as start-up capital. After expanding her business, Zhang Lan successfully established a large chain of her restaurants across Beijing and was employing many people as business was going extremely well. But at the same time, an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome stuck the city.

Many businesses in Beijing were greatly affected by the outbreak and many people refused to go out to eat as they were worried about catching the disease. However, Zhang Lan and her restaurants were persistent and did not let the slow economic times discourage their business goals. With a strong brand name in the local economy of Beijing and strong loyalty to its customers, the business was able to not only recover, but to expand into a network of 40 restaurants across China.

This small business success story shows that, although difficult, it is possible for businesses, countries, and industries to recover from economic adversities. When faced with challenges, businesses across the world have opportunities to use the challenges in front of them as building blocks for improvement and growth. As the global economy becomes more interconnected and businesses are affected by events occurring on the other side of the globe, it is imperative for businesses to show resilience and view challenges as opportunities for improvement. This may be easier said than done, but as seen in this globalEDGE Blog Series, many economic entities are beginning to take these steps and if this continues, the global economy may do more than just bounce back.

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