The coronavirus pandemic affected retail, crushing brick-and-mortar stores and scaling up digital sales — not only benefiting e-commerce giants like Amazon, but also some small businesses that built an online footprint. E-commerce consists of roughly $1 out of every $5 spent on retail in 2020, up from about $1 out of every $7 spent in 2019 according to a report released by Mastercard earlier this month. The report also said that between 20% and 30% of this increase will remain permanent. In a new interview Carolyn EversonEverson — Vice President of FacebookFacebook's Global Business Group — said the platform's digital tools helped hundreds of millions of small businesses across all sectors as COVID 19 accelerated the shift of business operations online. The company is in the process of rolling out additional tools to improve their experience on the platform, she added. There is no question that the environment for small businesses has been incredibly challenging, says Everson. And yet, there is a lot of optimism and positivity as well. What we're seeing is that, although certain businesses are definitely struggling, there is an energy and entrepreneurship around really fulfilling different consumer needs, she adds. According to a report released by Facebook, Everson said 50-five percent of small businesses say they are using digital tools to communicate with customers. Two-hundred million small businesses use FacebookFacebook's free tools, said Everson, who noted that 10 million of these companies pay Facebook for advertising while the rest take advantage of the tools without paying money to the company. Small businesses use the platform to create a Facebook Page that informs users about the company and updates them on new products, as well as an Instagram Business Account that allows some companies to sell goods directly through the app. Facebook derives significant revenue from the presence of small businesses on the platform. They account for nearly 75% of the company's annual advertising revenues, according to a 2014 research from Deutsche Bank cited by Marketplace. That local business never had a website'' Earlier this month the company announced changes that it says will help users find small businesses, including a news feed feature — currently testing in North America with some users — that would allow users to click on topics they're interested in under posts and ads and find businesses related to those topics. In your local neighborhood where, before the pandemic, that local business had a website, certainly not a mobile app, you were probably not able to buy anything digitally from them, says she. They suddenly had to become digital. So we accelerated our commerce efforts, launched Facebook shops, Instagram Checkout and just recently, we announced a more tools for small businesses, she adds. Tools, for example, that can help consumers find more local businesses. One of the most important things that our platform can do is help to rejuvenate and provide tools to small businesses, Everson says. Andy Serwer spoke with Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Everson in an episode of 'Influencers with Andy Serwer, a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics and entertainment. She joined Facebook a decade ago, and cultivated the company's advertising division and managed relationships with the top advertisers. Over their tenure, the company's annual advertising revenue exploded from $3.1 billion in 2011 to $84.1 billion last year. Before her tenure at Facebook, she held executive roles at tech and media companies like Microsoft Viacom and Zagat. Everson said that in a speaking to Yahoo Finance, Facebook will continue to offer other online tools as companies try to make up for the losses they have suffered from the pandemic. This will be an ongoing effort, she says; You will continue to see us roll out new products and services, really with the aim of helping businesses not only replace the revenue that they have lost, but hopefully be able to get new revenue streams and find new consumers worldwide. Referring to the e-commerce boom, Everson said customers have developed a new set of expectations around the ease with which they can shop online. Consumers got a chance to see how efficient, how much time they can save, the quality of products and services that can be delivered to them, says she. If anything, consumer expectations are going to be much higher in this pandemic. When a phrase is meant to suggest something, someone else is also supposed to be said. Ken Burns: People are making lots of money off the big lie' of US election fraud. None co-founder of Netflix on creative culture: We'manage at the edge of chaos' None Read the latest financial and business news from Yahoo Finance.com.