A new national survey of small business owners sheds light on their struggles to secure financing and their views on policy solutions that could help small businesses survive and grow post-pandemic.
The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) released its 2020 #LetsTalkBusiness Roundtable Series Report, a collection of testimonials from women entrepreneurs on current challenges and opportunities associated with access to capital, childcare, and patenting and trademark.
The publication of this report seeks to document the toll the COVID-19 pandemic took on small businesses in 2020. At the time our survey was fielded, six months into the pandemic, closures, layoffs, depressed revenue, and uncertainty continued to plague small businesses across the country. Small business debt mounted and business owners plowed their personal savings into their firms to keep them afloat.
The federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program provided forgivable loans to help businesses survive the COVID-19 economic collapse. But that wasn’t enough. About four million small businesses closed permanently in 2020, and many needed other options, like modifications to outstanding loans and credit card debt. New research from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) found that Black and Latino small business owners had less access to those options than White small business owners.
Lending to businesses in counties where a bank has no branches is highly sensitive to economic conditions. During the 2007 recession, distant lending contracted far more sharply than local lending, leaving the share of loans made at a distance lower than it had been at the beginning of the century. This study suggests that the presence of local bank branches might help small businesses weather economic downturns.
The Nonemployer Statistics by Demographics series (NES-D) provides information on the demographic characteristics of nonemployer businesses.
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.
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.
The Aspen Institute Financial Security Program has, for five years, tracked the challenges that face American households and learned from the leadership and example of our partners in the field. They have taken a step back to take stock of what leaders have learned over the past five years. The result is their new framework and an updated vision for the financial security field.
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.