COVID-19 Study: Small Businesses Say Their Concern Is Rising Again

Thryv and America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) have conducted an on-going joint study over the past several months in multiple waves to understand exactly how deeply the coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted small businesses.

As devastation from the virus swept the nation, we committed to updating the study regularly. Week-over-week data has revealed trends in demand for small business as well as future implications for their financial stability. We recently concluded the study with the 16th wave, which is highlighted below. You can also download the full Wave 16 Report.

16th Wave: Second Outbreak Concern Grows

The 16th and final wave of the study has been completed, occurring July 2 – 6. As concern is growing that a second outbreak will impact businesses, some have begun to rethink reopening.

75% of respondents expressed some level of concern about a second outbreak. More businesses, 26%, think the shutdown has not been long enough.

At the moment, small businesses are seeing little change in demand, however a growing number think it will begin to decline again.

64% are extremely concerned that they will experience large declines in demand. 71% are expecting at least some level of decline in demand.

Because of these rising concerns, small businesses are increasingly seeing a need for stimulus, and determining what to do if another shutdown is mandated.

82% believe the government needs to provide at least a little more funding for small businesses. Well over half say they will comply with future shelter-in-place orders.

13th Wave: Positive Trends Continue

Earlier, in Wave 5, we saw large declines in demand at their highest level, with 79% of small businesses reporting severe slowdowns. In Wave 13, that number has fallen by more than half to its lowest level.

Only 35% reported large declines in demand. Only 9% report that they expect demand to continue to decline a lot, down from 18% in Wave 12.

In previous waves, it appeared a downward trend in delayed or cancelled investment and expansion plans may have been developing. In Wave 13, this trend strengthened. With only a few exceptions, this number has hovered around 40% in previous waves. For the first time, none of the businesses said they did not believe their business will survive a year from now.

Nearly 6 in 10 (59%) businesses said they had not delayed or cancelled plans for investments. 49% believe they will make a full recovery one year from now. This compares with a low of 21% in Waves 5 and 6.

More workers are back on the job, and only 5% of business said they are still closed.

49% of those interviewed said all their employees were back work. Volume compared to 12 months ago continues to rise. In Wave 9 only 13% said they were at full capacity. Despite all the good news, 71% believe the government needs to provide more aid to small businesses.

Download the full Wave 13 report

10th & 11th Waves: More Small Businesses Expect to See Full Recovery within a Year

The 10th and 11th waves of the study has been completed, with the most recent wave occurring May 29 –

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