Lending Discrimination within PPP

Since March 2020, businesses in the U.S. have been struggling to continue operations in the face of a global pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a recession because of the widespread closures of non-essential businesses enacted to reduce the spread of the virus. Even as things begin to reopen, people are less likely to go out due to possible health risks. In response, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP is a lending program that provides money, in a potential grant format, to small businesses to help them weather the economic effects of the pandemic. The majority of the loan needs to be allocated for employee salaries and then the remainder can be used for other business expenses like rent and loan payments. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the disparities in small business lending we have detected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic continued with implementation of the PPP program.

Impact of PPP on Small Businesses

To determine the initial effectiveness of government relief efforts, Gusto analyzed data from nearly 27,000 of our small business customers who reported receiving PPP loans and compared it to platform data from our 100,000-plus small business customers nationwide[1]. The report below shows that PPP aid has helped to provide stabilization from the initial free fall in March ‘20, with strong increases in hiring and rehiring beginning in the second half of April ‘20.

Minority-Owned Businesses Hit Hardest by Pandemic

This fact sheet shows that across the United States, businesses owned by Black, Latinx, and Asian people have closed down at an alarming rate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between February and April of 2020 alone, more than 3 million small businesses closed down across the country. Businesses owned by people of color, women, and immigrants have been most severely harmed, closing down faster than the national average

Self-Employed Hit Hard by Pandemic

Self-employed workers in states where businesses are hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic are more likely to face economic hardships, according to new findings from the U.S. Census Bureau’s experimental Household and Small Business Pulse surveys.

Small Business Finances During COVID-19

This report provides a first look at the effect of COVID-19 and the ensuing economic downturn on America’s small businesses. We examine small business changes in cash balances, revenues, and expenses through April 2020 using a de-identified sample of nearly 1.3 million small firms nationwide. This sample is based on the anonymized transactions of deposit accounts and represents both nonemployer and employer firms. The vast majority—over 80 percent—of small businesses are nonemployers, which is reflected in our sample.

Freelancing in America 2019

Commissioned by Upwork and Freelancers Union, this study analyzes the size and impact of the freelance economy, as well as the motivations and challenges of this way of working. This year 53 percent of Gen Z workers freelanced—the highest independent workforce participation of any age bracket since FIA’s launch in 2014.

Small Business Employment Plummets

Since a declaration of emergency for COVID-19 was issued on March 13, 2020, total private employment dropped by over 15 percent. Small businesses employers bore the brunt of the job loss, with a decline of more than 17 percent.

COVID-19’s Effect on Minority Small Businesses

Whether by necessity or ingenuity, minority-owned small businesses may be giving us an early sign of how US businesses will adapt in the wake of COVID-19. These businesses are experimenting with new ways of working to ensure their employees’ safety, offering monetary relief to employees and community members, and introducing new services such as free delivery to those who need it.

California 2020 Small Business Profile

In the fourth quarter of 2019, California grew at an annual rate of 2.2%, which was faster than the overall US growth rate of 2.1%. California’s 2019 overall growth rate of 2.6% was down from the 2018 rate of 4.3%. (Source: BEA)

In April 2020, the unemployment rate was 15.5%, up from 4.2% in April 2019. This was above the April 2020 national unemployment rate of 14.7%. (Source: CPS)

2018 Annual Business Survey

The U.S. Census Bureau released new estimates showing 1.1 million employer firms were owned by women and 1.0 million by minorities. According to the 2018 Annual Business Survey (ABS), covering year 2017, 5.6% (322,076) of all U.S. businesses were Hispanic-owned and 6.1% (351,237) were owned by veterans.