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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.

State of Small Business Report

The Small Business Roundtable (SBR) and Facebook have partnered to release the State of Small Business Report on the impact of small businesses on the U.S. economy. The survey was conducted with approximately 86,000 people who owned, managed or worked for a small or medium-sized business (“SMB”).

Did the PPP Hit the Target?

This paper takes an early look at the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a large and novel small business support program that was part of the initial policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We use new data on the distribution of the first round of PPP loans and high-frequency microlevel employment data to consider two dimensions of program targeting.

Bank Lending and the Financial Crisis

This report provides an analysis of how lending changed overall and in rural vs. urban areas before, during, and after the financial crisis of 2008-2010. The analysis shows that rural firms have poorer access to bank credit than their urban counterparts in terms of both the amount and number of loans and that this situation has deteriorated, rather than improved during the post-crisis years of 2011-2016.