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National Small Business Survey

You are not alone! NSBA conducted a survey of over 980 small businesses. Key takeaways are outlined on the first couple of pages. 

The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to wreak widespread economic turbulence unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Many small businesses have undergone fundamental changes in their businesses—changes which could be long-term—while many others are worried they simply will not make it through this pandemic. In an effort to illustrate the real-world implications of the virus and help policymakers understand the likely long-term effects the pandemic is causing among America’s small businesses, NSBA has conducted a survey of more than 980 small-business owners on how the virus is impacting their small business. Among the key takeaways from this survey:

• Nearly all small businesses, 92 percent, say they are very concerned about the economic impact of COVID-19;

• Eighty percent say they have experienced reduced customer demand, up from 49 percent just four weeks ago;

• Just five percent of respondents who applied for an EIDL loan have received any money so far, only 25 percent have received money under the PPP loan program;

• Two-thirds of small-business owners are now anticipating a recession in the coming 12 months compared with just 14 percent in January;

• Nearly half of small businesses are not confident in the future of their business. NSBA has said from the start: maintaining cash-flow and liquidity is essential to a vibrant smallbusiness community which funds, drives and fosters all of our communities. Although lawmakers quickly passed bipartisan legislation back in March, the CARES Act, which created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), more must be done.

On April 16, SBA stopped processing PPP and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) because appropriated funds ran out. Adding insult to injury is the fact that the very smallest of businesses were unable to begin applying for the program until April 10 and only two days before the programs shut down did banks receive guidance on how to process loans for self-employed individuals. All small businesses deserve access to assistance, not just those lucky enough to get their applications processed before mid-April. Furthermore, the smallest businesses are being disproportionately impacted: according to this survey, among small businesses with 10 or fewer employees, only 18 percent were approved for their PPP applications whereas those businesses with more than 20 employees have a 52 percent approval rate. Absent prompt action, we could be at the start of a very painful, long economic downturn. This survey was conducted online among more than 980 small-business owners on April 15-18. Please contact our Media Affairs department with any media-related inquiries. Additionally, please visit NSBA’s resource page for updates, podcasts, small-business stories, Action Alerts and much more.

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