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COVID’s Effect on Female-Owned Small Businesses

Poll Shows Coronavirus Pandemic Disproportionately Affecting Female-Owned Small Businesses

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

First published August 2020

Women-owned small businesses have been more heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic than male-owned small businesses, and they are less likely to anticipate a strong recovery in the year ahead, new data show. The Special Report on Women-Owned Small Businesses During COVID-19  from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce also found that women-owned small businesses have less optimistic revenue, investment and hiring plans compared to male-owned small businesses.

Before the coronavirus pandemic began 67% of male-owned businesses ranked the overall health of their business as “good,” while fewer (60%) women-owned businesses said the same. But by July 2020, 62% of male-owned small businesses said their businesses was “good,” but just 47% (15 points less compared to male-owned) of female-owned businesses ranked the overall health of their business as “good.” This also represents a decline of 13 points for women-owned small businesses versus a small shift of only five points for male-owned businesses who see their businesses health as “good.”

Also, more male-owned businesses report increasing staffing in the past year, while female-owned businesses are less likely to have done so. Male-owned small businesses reporting an increase in staffing grew eight points since the start of the pandemic (from 17% in Q1 2020 to 25% in July), while female-owned small businesses reporting increases in staff remain statistically unchanged (from 18% in Q1 2020 reporting an increase in staff to 15% in July 2020, a difference of three points).

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