Economic Bulletin, December 2020

The Office of Advocacy’s Small Business Economic Bulletin for December examines how small businesses have been faring during the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall self-employment levels have been relatively steady, but income changes from small business owners have been choppy. Additionally, the lack of recent data on business closures makes it difficult to assess the overall state of small business.

Small Business Pulse Survey

The Small Business Pulse Survey (SBPS) measures the effect of changing business conditions during the Coronavirus pandemic on our nation’s small businesses. SBPS complements existing U.S. Census Bureau data collections by providing high-frequency, detailed information on the challenges small businesses are facing during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Pandemic Pressures City Businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted metropolitan areas, which have seen a higher rate of small business closures than non-metropolitan areas. However, in recent weeks, the New York City metropolitan area has reopened faster than the national rate. Read “Small Business Facts: Pandemic Pressures City Businesses” to learn more.

COVID-19 Small Business Insights

At Core Strategy Partners we were wondering how fellow small business owners are dealing with this new normal. We set out to do what we do best; gather in-depth insights and offer ways to turn those insights into action. We spoke with small business owners across the nation about their experiences. The following pages reveal what we discovered.

SBA Frequently Asked Questions

Advocacy’s most requested publication, Frequently Asked Questions About Small Business, gathers the most up-to-date statistics about American small businesses in one place. Updated annually, the FAQ is a convenient place to find facts about the total number of small businesses, their share of employment and net new jobs, and their overall contribution to the U.S. economy.

Businesses Won’t Survive Without Additional Relief

Small Business Majority’s latest survey reveals that the uncertainty of whether more help will arrive has left too many small businesses on the brink of collapse.

The survey finds that without additional funding, more than 1 in 3 (35%) small business owners will not survive past the next three months. The number is even higher for small business owners of color: an astounding 41% of Black and Latino-owned businesses won’t make it through the next few months without additional financial support. And 1 in 5 small business owners report they’ve considered filing for bankruptcy.

Big Ideas for Small Business

Given current market conditions, it is clear that absent major federal interventions, whole
swathes of the small-business sector will never return, minority business owners will suffer
more than their fair share of the burden, and entrepreneurship levels will remain depressed for a
generation or more. But the collision of these forces—COVID-19, economic consolidation, and
deep racial inequality—also create a window of opportunity for significant reform. This report
provides a five-step roadmap towards a more inclusive, dynamic, and productive small-business sector. We break down the five steps into ten major policy recommendations. While the
federal government must take the lead for many of our recommendations, we also suggest how it
can galvanize the full energy of public, private and civic institutions.

PPP Neglected the Neediest Small Businesses

This report provides preliminary findings from the Select Subcommittee’s ongoing investigation of the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury). The report finds that contrary to Congress’s clear intent, the Trump Administration and many big banks failed to prioritize small businesses in underserved markets, including minority and women-owned businesses. As a result, small businesses that were truly in need of financial support during the economic crisis often faced longer waits and more obstacles to receiving PPP funding than larger, wealthier companies.

Creating Entrepreneurship Pathways for Opportunity Youth

In 2017, the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions launched the Youth Entrepreneurship Fund, which explores entrepreneurship as a pathway to economic self-determination and wealth-building for opportunity youth. Del Norte County and Tribal Lands, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and San Francisco, California received YEF grants. The Aspen Forum partnered with the Aspen Institute’s Business Ownership Initiative to co-lead a community of practice among the YEF grantees and document the learnings from this work. Their new case study, “Creating Entrepreneurship Pathways for Opportunity Youth: Lessons From Del Norte and Tribal Lands, California,” explores the local context and history of the opportunity youth efforts and how entrepreneurship fits into the larger body of community-building work in Del Norte.

San Francisco Entrepreneurs of Color Fund

San Francisco Entrepreneurs of Color Fund: Creating a Continuum of Capital and Consulting The Aspen Institute First published October 2020 Structural inequities—both historical and current—have created barriers for entrepreneurs of color to build wealth and grow their businesses. The San Francisco Entrepreneurs of Color Fund (SFEOCF) seeks to address these inequities by creating a more