Around 87 percent of business owners say their businesses are hurting from the coronavirus, according to WalletHub’s new Coronavirus Small Business Survey, released in April. This survey, which follows WalletHub’s report on State Economies Most Exposed to Coronavirus, shows some of the ways in which COVID-19 has impacted business owners’ livelihoods and opinions on topics such as reopening the economy.
Owners worry about failure: 35 percent of small business owners say their business can survive for less than three months in current conditions.
Health comes before money: 79 percent of small business owners think that minimizing COVID-19 deaths is more important than re-opening the economy.
Business owners don’t want more restrictions: 60 percent of small business owners think restrictions placed in response to COVID-19 should stay the same or be relaxed.
Many business owners feel neglected: 68 percent of small business owners think that the government is not doing enough to help small business right now.
Why is COVID-19 hitting small businesses so hard? “We surveyed the small business community, and more than 87 percent of small business owners say their businesses are hurting because of the coronavirus pandemic,” says WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “There are a few clear reasons for this. For one thing, hardly any business is unaffected. It’s not like just a sector or two of the economy has taken a downturn. Most businesses are going to zero revenue, and most businesses can’t survive long without any cash flow. Like most consumers, most businesses have too little saved and too much debt to hunker down and ride out this type of shock to the system without outside intervention.”
How long can small businesses survive in this environment? “Around 35 percent of small business owners say their companies can survive for less than three months in current conditions,” says Papadimitriou. “Given the dire circumstances, it’s understandable why more than 68 percent of small business owners say the government is not doing enough to help the small business community.”
Should people who work for small businesses be worried about their job security? “Yes, most workers should be worried about their job security right now. One-third of small business owners say they have laid off employees because of COVID-19, and a slightly higher share – 36 percent – plan to do so,” says Papadimitriou. “Everyone should make a plan for what to do in the event they lose their income, just in case. This whole event should really hammer home the importance of having an emergency fund.”
Do most business owners support reopening the economy as soon as possible? “Actually, no. Nearly 8 in 10 small business owners say that minimizing COVID-19 deaths is more important than reopening the economy,” says Papadimitriou. “However, most small business owners do not think the government should implement more restrictions to fight the pandemic.”
See the full WalletHub survey here.