2020 Small Biz Profiles for CA Congressional Districts

Each profile focuses on the impact of small businesses in 436 congressional districts. Within, readers can find the congressional district’s total number of small employers and their industry breakout, plus the number of workers employed and payroll expended by small businesses. Additionally, the profiles provide a map showing the total number and distribution of self-employed workers across the district.

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.

A New Rating System for CRA

NCRC developed a new ratings system for quantitative measures on banks’ community development financing under CRA. Our suggested ratings could increase community development lending and investment between $15 billion to $28 billion annually.

Opportunity Zones for Equitable Development

Opportunity Zones (OZs) are gaining momentum, and now that the rules regulating them are clearer, investors, local officials, developers, and businesses have been engaging with the incentive. In the two years since the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 created the incentive and Treasury-designated Zones, hundreds of Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs) have been created, and OZ investment was beginning to flow until the COVID-19 crisis began. But has this capital been reaching projects that benefit low- and moderate-income households and communities? Although the program is still maturing,  and the COVID-19 crisis now poses new challenges whose resolution is unknown, this report offers an early, qualitative assessment of how well OZs have channeled capital into projects aligned with equitable development goals.

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.

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)

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.

Small Business Facts: COVID-19 Disruptions

When economic conditions are changing rapidly, data collected in the course of administering government programs can provide valuable information about recent developments. Timely data about economic conditions during the coronavirus pandemic have been provided by initial unemployment insurance claims and applications related to new businesses. These administrative data reveal severe economic disruptions in recent weeks.