Monday, May 18, 2020

Most Small Businesses Badly Hurt by Covid-19

The 51.4 percent majority of the nation’s small businesses say the Covid-19 pandemic has had a large negative effect on them. Among small businesses in accommodations and food services, fully 83.5 percent say Covid-19 has hurt them badly—the highest percentage by industry sector. Among businesses in arts and entertainment, 75.2 percent say they have experienced a large negative effect from Covid-19, as have 74.3 percent of those in educational services and 69.5 percent of health care and social assistance firms.

This information comes from the Census Bureau’s new Small Business Pulse Survey, a weekly data collection effort to track the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on small business. The Census Bureau defines small businesses as single-location employer businesses with 1 to 499 employees and receipts of $1,000 or more. The first of what will be weekly releases reveals the status of small businesses as of April 26 through May 4.

Only 7.6 percent of small businesses say the Covid-19 pandemic has had little or no effect on them. Those most likely to report minimal impact are utilities (37 percent).

The Small Business Pulse Survey gets into the weeds, with state-level detail. In New York State, 62.2 percent of small businesses say the pandemic has had a large negative effect on them. In Texas, 48.9 percent say so. What are some of these negative effects? In the past seven days, nationally, three out of four small businesses say their operating revenues have declined, and more than one in four has had to reduce paid employees. Seventy-five percent of small businesses have requested assistance from the Paycheck Protection Program.

Source: Census Bureau, Small Business Pulse Survey: Tracking Changes During the Covid-19 Pandemic

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