Chamber of Commerce: 24% of Small Businesses ‘Temporarily’ Closed; 57% Still Optimistic

Businesses closed (Scott Olson / Getty)
Scott Olson / Getty

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported Friday that one in four small businesses had closed temporarily due to the coronavirus outbreak — but more than half remained optimistic about an eventual recovery.

Citing a special report produced together with MetLife insurance, the Chamber said:

With high levels of concern about COVID-19 reported in every sector and region of the country, one in four small businesses (24%) report having already temporarily shut down. Among those who haven’t shut down yet, 40% report it is likely they will shut temporarily within the next two weeks. Forty-three percent believe they have less than six months until a permanent shutdown is unavoidable. Nearly half of small businesses (46%) believe it will take the U.S. economy six months to a year to return to normal.

But even in the midst of this negativity, there is hope that small businesses will get the help they need to outlive this crisis. Small businesses are looking for relief in the form of direct cash payments (56%), Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans (30%), and temporary cancellation of business payroll taxes (21%). All of these are happening: direct cash payments will soon be going out to many Americans, most small businesses will be able to apply for SBA disaster loans due to the impact of the coronavirus on April 3, and business payroll tax cancellations are part of the CARES Act just passed by Congress.

Read the full report here.

Friday’s jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that nonfarm payrolls fell 701,000 in March, and the unemployment rate rose to 4.4%, with restaurants and the health care sector hit particularly hard.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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