US small businesses feeling the pain
More than two-thirds of small US businesses have seen large drops in demand
A new national study found that 69% of US small businesses have already experienced a large drop in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic and 60% believe demand will continue to decline. The study of small businesses by America's Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and Thryv, Inc., found that 82% of small businesses are "extremely concerned" about the current business environment in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Additionally, the study uncovered impacts on the labour market and employment trends. In fact, 64% of the small businesses studied indicated employee hours have been cut and 22% said they had not been cut yet but they expect to do so. From a supply chain perspective, 74% of small businesses indicated that they or their suppliers have seen disruptions in their supply chain.
"Small businesses across America are feeling the pain of the coronavirus pandemic," said Gordon Henry, Chief Strategy Officer at Thryv®. "They are seeing demand plummet and are unable to stock their shelves due to supply chain disruptions. As a result, they are having to cut employee hours to stay operable."
Charles "Tee" Rowe, President & CEO at America's SBDC, noted, "One-third of the study respondents said they were likely to apply for an SBA loan and another 18 % said they didn't realize these were available. SBDCs can provide insight and expertise on what options are available and how to manoeuvre through the loan process, connecting local business owners with the right resources in these difficult times."
The study indicated 60 % of respondents have delayed or cancelled plans for new investments, loans and expansions in light of the pandemic.
The study was conducted on March 20 through March 23 among more than 850 small businesses, with a margin of error +/- 3.5 %. America's SBDC and Thryv will continue to gather data from SMBs over the next four to eight weeks.